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It's opening day for the Florida State Fair

TAMPA — Grab your kids and perhaps your antacids. This city's brightly colored, goat-bleating, fried-dough-tempting, music-cranking extravaganza has arrived.

The Florida State Fair.

Beginning today at 10 a.m., the annual fair will offer oodles of rides, games, concerts and so-bad-it's-good grub for between $5 and $12 admission, depending on your age and the day you visit.

Rides, food and some shows cost extra.

It all ends Feb. 21, but there's plenty to do until then.

• Friday night is the big Corndogs and Country concert at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, featuring five headliners. Tickets, available at livenation.com, are $20 and include fair admission.

• The High School Jazz Festival will take place all day at the special events center.

• Cheer and dance competitions happen all day Saturday and Sunday.

• There is a talent show Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Country Gold concerts, featuring Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley and Bobby Bare, are at noon and 4 p.m. Feb. 16 in the entertainment hall.

• Nock Helicopter Trapeze shows fly over the fairgrounds on weekdays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

• Fireworks start at 8:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday.

• Other daily shows include: the Welde Bear Show, the Hollywood Racing Pigs, the Giraffe Exotic Menagerie, the Sea Lion Splash and the Kachunga Alligator show and a Blues Brothers tribute show.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at (813)661-2442 or kwilmath@sptimes.com.

>>Fast facts

If you go

The fair opens at 10 a.m. today and runs through Feb. 21. Regular admission is $10 adults (12 and older ), $5 children Monday-Friday; $12, $6 children, Saturday-Sunday. Free for kids 5 and younger every day. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 621-7821. For more details, go to tampabay.com/things-to-do.

All about

the food fads

See this year's fair food fads — mashed potatoes and gravy on a stick? Weekend, Page 25.

It's opening day for the Florida State Fair 02/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 11:14pm]
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