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FLORIDA STATE FAIR 411

The Florida State Fair opens today and continues through Feb. 18. Gates open at 9 a.m. daily; midway opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and on Student Days (Feb. 8 and 18). Closing hours vary. For more information, call toll-free 1-800-345-3247 or (813) 621-7821 or go to www.floridastatefair.com.

Admission: $10 adults, $5 ages 6-11 at gate. Pepsi Armband Days ($25 for unlimited rides) are Feb. 8, 10, 15, 17 and 18. Senior Days ($6 ages 55 and older at the gate) are Feb. 12-14.

Getting there: There are three entrances, off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, off U.S. 301 and off Orient Road.

Parking: Free on-site parking is available with trolleys shuttling fairgoers to and from remote parking lots.

Entrance: Gates are located on four sides of the fairgrounds: Gate 1 (facing U.S. 301), Gate 2 (near Cracker Country), Gate 3 (facing Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) and Gate 4 (facing Orient Road).

What's new

La Plaza Hispanic Village: Food, exhibits, entertainment and cultural activities from Hispanic countries, including Mexico, Cuba and Colombia.

Fair food: Deep-fried cookie dough, pizza-on-a-stick, wet burritos, "walking" tacos, deep-fried fudge, deep-fried bratwurst, fried-fruit-on-a-stick and (gasp! not fried) steamed clams.

Entertainment: Kachunga & the Alligator, featuring alligator wrestling; Hotel California, an Eagles tribute band; Bill Wharton, the Sauce Boss; Dueling Pianos, an interactive show; Jousting Tournament; the Blacksmiths World Championship.

Returning favorites

Cracker Country: A museum where visitors can experience what life was like more than 100 years ago in rural Florida.

Other favorites: Circus Hollywood, Sea Lion Splash show, Hollywood Racing Pigs, Welde's Big Bear Show & Grizzly Falls, bull riding and barrel racing, Spanish Lyric Theatre and more.

Entertainment highlights

(Entertainment Hall, free with admission)

GLITZ! - A Las Vegas Revue

1 and 3 p.m. today; 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday.

Country Gold Tour concert

10 and 4 p.m. Feb. 14 (concert ticket $10, gate admission required).

FCW Wrestling featuring WWE Stars of Tomorrow

Autographs at 5 p.m.; matches at 6 and 8 p.m. Feb. 15.

Elvis Extravaganza Impersonator National Finals

1, 3 and 6 p.m. Feb. 16-17.

Roller Derby Championship

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 18.

Tips

Credit cards and ATMs: Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted at the gate, the Midway courtesy booth and the Concert Box Office at Gate 1. Some vendors may not accept credit cards, so be prepared. Most food vendors accept cash only. ATMs are located throughout the grounds.

Lost and found: Children separated from their families will be cared for at the Lost Kids Corral in the Expo Hall. Lost items initially will be taken to the Lost Kids Corral, then, at the end of the day, transferred to the sheriff's command post on the northeast end of the grounds.

First aid stations: Located throughout the fairgrounds.

Guest relations: Daily schedules and maps are available at information booths, in the white gazebos at each entrance gate.

Automotive assistance: Contact security or a parking attendant for free assistance with flat tires, locked keys or dead batteries.

Rentals: Wheelchairs, strollers and electric scooters are available for rent at each entrance gate while supplies last.

Pets: No pets are allowed, except for service animals or dogs participating in an event. Do not leave your pet in the car.

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