At the Central Florida Fair, we love when we’re featured in the news! Read this article below from Orlando Sentinel’s James Tutten, or click here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/os-jtutten-central-florida-fair-20160226-column.html
Get ready to grab a sugar-encrusted funnel cake, hop on the Ferris wheel and try your best to win that oversize teddy bear for your sweetheart. With entertainment ranging from special musical performances, midway rides, creative arts and pig races, the 104th Central Florida Fair is underway.
For the first time in its 104-year history, the fair will encompass three weekends and offer more concerts and live entertainment than ever before. In the past the fair ran 11 consecutive days. Now it spans 14 days but will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. “Every weekend will feel like a slightly different fair,” said Frances Rivera, coordinator for Central Florida Fairgrounds, the event’s home. “Because we’re a longer fair we brought in more entertainment.” Each week will feature a different concert, starting this Sunday with R&B duo K-Ci & JoJo at 7:30 p.m. and continuing with rock band Pop Evil at 7:30 p.m. March 4. Both shows are included with the $10 fair admission.
The Orlando Amphitheatre is set to open next month. Reggaeton artist Jory Boy will perform on March 11 but concertgoers must pay $20 in advance for admission, which includes the concert and fair. A final event on March 13 will cost $25 and feature a celebration of Latin American culture highlighted by Mexican group Los Indomables de Cedral. New entertainment is also on tap. Acts will include the motorcycle stunt show “Vortex of Doom,” a white tiger exhibit, shark encounter and more. Through this Sunday fairgoers can see “A Grizzly Experience,” a high-diving show and pig races.
All the classic midway rides you would expect will be featured this year such as Yo Yo, Zipper, Typhoon and the G-force-inducing Gravitron. Thrill rides — like the new Super Cyclone — will have height requirements so fair organizers have a Kiddie Land section devoted to young fans.
Originally called the “Sub-Tropical Mid-Winter Exposition,” the fair started in 1910 and was held in downtown Orlando near what is now the Bob Carr Theater. In the late 1970s it moved to the Central Florida Fairgrounds near Pine Hills. There’s a serious side to the fair: A portion of its profits each year goes to support local agricultural programs and student scholarships. Organizers say the fair averages around 250,000 visitors each year. Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days, with 25,000-40,000 guests each day.
The increased focus on live entertainment reflects an overall shift for the site on East Colonial Drive to become more of a concert venue and community-based convention center, said Wil Price, the director of marketing and operations for the Central Florida Fairgrounds. What does that mean for the fair? “Next year we look to expand with even more concerts,” said Price.