article courtesy of carnivalwarehouse.com
by Ron Weber
Friday, December 18, 2020
The Florida State Fair announced its decision to postpone the annual Florida State Fair to April 2021. Originally scheduled for February 11-22, 2021, the Florida State Fair competitions, entertainment, carnival and other attractions and activities will now be rescheduled for some time in April, "pending COVID-19 health status”. Agricultural competitions such as the Market Steer and Swine show competitions will still be held in February however.
The South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach is still scheduled to run in January and the Florida Strawberry Festival is scheduled March 4 - 14, followed by the Miami-Dade Fair, March 18 - April 11, so the Florida State Fair will likely follow that event.
Ironically, the Florida State Fair and Florida Strawberry Festival were some of the last large events to be held in 2020, drawing approximately 900,000 people between them in the greater Tampa area. Interestingly, without mitigation strategies in place, the Tampa area was not a source of large spread for the Covid 19 after the events. Other large events that have run in 2020 have also been able to operate safely, with no reported “super spreader” events connected with a large fair.
“The Florida State Fair is truly a community event that our guests look forward to each and every year,” said Cheryl Flood, Executive Director of the Florida State Fair. “With the evolving health situation and risks associated with mass gatherings of people, our Board of Directors made the decision to move the 2021 Fair from February to April, with the exception of our Market Steer and Swine shows.
We remain dedicated to fulfilling our mission to support Florida youth and hosting a long-time Tampa tradition.”
The Florida State Fairgrounds remains open for business and is hosting non-fair events including the upcoming Gold and Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Shows scheduled for December 27 – January 7 and the Florida RV SuperShow scheduled for January 13 – 17.
"I understand and respect Executive Director Cheryl Flood and the State Fair Authority's Board of Directors for making the difficult decision. I know how challenging it will be for all that plan and participate in this great annual family tradition. My attitude is simple. What is best for the fair and community is best for Wade Shows," said Frank Zaitshik, President and CEO of Wade Shows. Wade Shows has served as the midway manager for the fair since 2015.
Guests who pre-purchased fair tickets on the Florida State Fair's website will be given the option to transfer tickets for the rescheduled dates or receive a refund.
“We are thankful we are rescheduled not cancelled. It is a been a tough year for everyone and our prayer is that 2021 is brighter.”, Flood added.
Earlier this month, another top 50 fair, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announced it would be moving its event to May, also hoping for improvements relating to the pandemic.