Fair History

The Central Florida Fair was founded in 1910 by a group of community leaders who sought an outlet to celebrate the agricultural industry in Orlando and its surrounding counties. With an average annual attendance of 250,000, the Central Florida Fair successfully continues its mission to preserve and enhance the agricultural, cultural, educational, and historical legacy of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, and Volusia Counties, known collectively as “Central Florida.” It is the largest not-for-profit fair in Central Florida and among the top five largest fairs in the state. The Fair is centrally located just minutes from downtown Orlando on 87 acres with ample free parking and a Lynx Bus stop at the main entrance.

At the annual Fair, Visitors and residents alike will enjoy scores of rides through our exciting Midway, from stomach dropping thrillers for our adrenaline seekers to Kiddie Land for our youngest riders, the Central Florida Fair delivers clean family fun for everyone! In addition to the traditional rides and fair food, the 11-day event will celebrate the accomplishments of local residents awarding nearly $200,000 in prize money to exhibitors in:

Creative Arts – with nearly 3,000 handmade items in over 200 categories, including Fine Arts, Needlework, and Crafts & Hobbies

Food Arts & Sciences – a feast of baked goods, canned fruits, decorated cakes, and decorative touches for the home, plus dozens of daily chef demonstrations on a state-of-the-art kitchen stage

Horticulture – lush displays of flowers and foliage, plus information on gardening, water conservation, landscaping, and more

FFA – local middle and high school chapters present educational booths on landscaping, animal husbandry, veterinary care, and more

4-H – this leadership-building organization presents a year’s worth of youth activities in informative booths and creative contests

Livestock – featuring over 2,000 cows, horses, sheep, hogs, goats, chickens, and rabbits

Entertainment – over 100 groups featuring 800 singers, dancers and musicians on three stages

The Fair further supports the community by distributing thousands of free tickets to underprivileged children, as well as opening the Fairgrounds early one weekday for school groups and chaperones to enjoy the exhibits and entertainment for free.

Throughout the rest of the year, the Central Florida Fair continues to support community and educational projects. Annual scholarships are presented to high school seniors and Fair endowments support college students at the University of Florida, Valencia and Seminole Community Colleges. Year to date, the Central Florida Fair has awarded over $1 million in financial aid! Additionally, the Central Florida Fairgrounds is busy at work during non-fair time as the Exposition Park is host to over 2 million visitors! The 87 acres of fairground hosts countless events including trade shows, RV rallies, concerts, ethnic festivals, antique shows, dog shows and so much more.
As one of the oldest corporations in the Orlando area, the not-for-profit Central Florida Fair is proud of its standing as a self-sufficient community asset. A recent economic impact study published by Fishkind & Associates concluded that the Central Florida Fair generates $35 million in out-of-area revenue to the City of Orlando and Orange County. Designated as an emergency staging area by Orange County for Florida’s hurricane season, the Fair has built a strong long standing relationship with the local government and played a key role as a debris collection site after the hurricanes of 2004 saving taxpayers millions of dollars in clean-up costs. No taxpayer support is received from city or county governments to support the Fair and only $4,400 annually is designated from the State of Florida towards the premiums paid to Fair exhibitors. Instead, the Fair is sustained by Fair ticket sales, off-season rental income, and partnerships with local businesses to provide the community with its annual celebration of the best of Central Florida.


FAQ for Fair

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are you centrally located?
Yes, we are only 3 miles west of Downtown Orlando, near several major highways and used by all the car dealerships as a landmark in their advertising.

2. Are you setup for RV Rallies? How many hookups to you have?
We host many of the area’s largest RV Rallies. Our large facility and proximity to local attractions makes the Central Florida Fairgrounds the ideal spot. We have hookups for up to 800 RVs. Indoor space is available for vendors, lectures, entertainment, etc. We also provide field space for driver training.

3. Do you advertise a calendar of events?
Yes. Our website, www.centralfloridafair.com, is updated weekly to include all events taking place at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

4. Do you charge for parking?
No. Parking lots are on the Fairgrounds and will accommodate up to 8,000 cars.

5. Do you have air conditioned exhibit space?
Yes, over 60,000 sq. ft. of A.C. space.

6. Is there outside space available for concerts and festivals?
Yes. We have hosted numerous festivals (American Indian, Vietnamese, Indian) and concerts (Van’s Warped Tour, Lilith Fair, etc.). We have ample camping, water and electrical hook-ups to accommodate large and small outdoor events.

7. What type of shows do you host?
We have hosted trade shows (for example, woodworking, apartment association); health expos; craft and antique shows; hobby shows (quilts, shells, exotic birds, fossils, gun & knife, etc.); dog and cat shows; training seminars (school bus drivers, phone repairmen, etc.); computer shows; bridal and baby showers; and more.