Scaled Back, Socially Distanced South Florida ‘Mini’ Fair Planned

(L-R) Fair directors Dan Hulen, Robert Shorr and Frank Sardinha with the caboose they relocated to Yesteryear Village. Yesteryear Village is one of the many outdoor attractions that will be included in the slimmed down South Florida Fair.

The 2021 South Florida Fair, set for Friday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 31 will be scaled back with no adult rides, large concerts or indoor activities. However, this “mini” fair will include a number of other popular attractions that draw attendees.

The fair has eliminated adult rides and big-name entertainment that attract large crowds, but it will still have fair foods and beverages, a variety of local and tribute bands performing daily, shopping opportunities with vendors under a large tent, racing pigs, a giant sand sculpture, strolling entertainers, farm animals and the historic buildings of Yesteryear Village.

Kiddie rides still will be offered, but other rides are being eliminated due to the large crowds that they typically attract, and no indoor activities will be held.

“This decision came about due to growing concerns about the safety of our guests during this pandemic,” said Vicki Chouris, the fair’s president and CEO. “Hosting a scaled back, outdoor version of our traditional fair will still allow fairgoers to enjoy a fun-filled event.”

Loxahatchee Groves Councilman Robert Shorr, who is also one of the South Florida Fair’s directors, told the Town-Crier he is excited that the fair is still going to have all the agricultural activities.

“It will have all the animals and the produce,” Shorr said. “They’ll still have the fair food, and all the events in Yesteryear Village will still happen.”

Shorr said he recently relocated and renovated an old railroad caboose to Yesteryear Village that had been sitting in Oakland Park for years. It now sits alongside the railroad depot in Yesteryear Village.

“I moved it up from there about three years ago,” he recalled. “People will be able to see the caboose from the deck of the railroad building.”

COVID-19 safety measures will be enforced during the mini fair and include mandatory mask wearing by everyone, safety protocols for all vendors and a revamped site layout to accommodate more social distancing. There also will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the fairgrounds.

“After being cooped up in our homes for so long during this pandemic, we think people will be ready to come outdoors to safely enjoy a variety of fair activities,” Chouris said. “It’s possible we’ll be able to host the full-fledged fair later in the year, but for now, we’re inviting everyone to come and experience our mini fair.”

On opening day, Friday, Jan. 15, guests will be admitted free during the first hour from noon to 1 p.m. After opening day, weekday hours will be from 4 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, Sunday and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, hours will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Advance tickets are being sold exclusively online via the fair’s web site at through Jan. 14. Admission is free for children 10 and younger, in advance and at the gate. That’s a change from last year, when free admission was only age 5 and younger. Advance tickets are $10 for age 11 and up and may be used any day.

Buying a ticket in advance allows for contactless admission and avoids having to wait in line at the ticket booths. Guests with an advance ticket will show their barcode on their phone or present a printed copy of their purchase at the gate.

Tickets at the gate will be $10, good Monday through Friday, and $15 on Saturday and Sunday, a $5 savings compared to last year.