With the theme “Dive into the Fun,” the 112th South Florida Fair opens on Friday, Jan. 12 and runs until Sunday, Jan. 28.
Theme-related features include a 40-foot-by-40-foot immersive underwater 3D projection experience in partnership with the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission and the Palm Beaches TV that will make guests feel like they’re walking on a sea floor. There is also a sea lion splash show, dueling pirates high dive comedy show, an exhibit titled “Our Changing Climate: Sea Level Rise” from the Florida Museum with research from the University of Florida, a live shark encounter attraction and an “Ice in Paradise” skating show.
Attendees will not want to miss these exciting new features for 2024:
Dueling Pirates High Dive Show — Located near the small animal exhibit, the Dueling Pirates is one of the largest portable high dive shows in the world. Fairgoers will hear a salty tale of pirates on the search for Treasure Island, where a fortune in gold and jewels are said to be buried in the sand. The show includes small pyrotechnic explosions and features comedy, clown diving, a “Plank Diving” contest and a high dive from the top of the 80-foot masts.
Sea Lion Splash — The natural and impressive behaviors of sea lions will be on full display — shooting hoops, balancing balls, dancing and performing handstands. Educational and amusing presentations will be held throughout the day on the South Patio.
Live Shark Encounter — This attraction is self-contained with its own attractive canopy, where guests can sit in comfort and enjoy the sharks swimming in their specially designed aquarium. The show and exhibit, located in Expo East, combines education and entertainment, all presented in a fun format.
Stingrays Touch Tank & Feeding — The world’s only traveling, self-contained stingray exhibit will be in Expo East. Fairgoers will be able to safely view and touch these creatures while receiving a hands-on educational experience. A video and audio presentation will run continuously during fair hours, and knowledgeable staff members will be on duty at all times answering questions that guests may have about sea life.
Texas Trick Riders — Don and Jo-Ann Anderson founded the Texas White Horse Ranch in the quiet town of Troup, Texas, in 1968. Dozens of their white horses have been featured in circuses, rodeos, wild west shows and Hollywood films, including the couple’s wild west show, “The Texas White Horse Troupe,” which toured from the 1960s to 1990s. Today, their son, Austin Anderson, carries on the tradition with his own show, “The Texas Trick Riders.”
Dive into Palm Beach County Agriculture Display — Designed by Craig McInnis, a multi-discipline and highly creative local artist, the Dive into Palm Beach County Agriculture exhibit is a striking display of vegetable art. The exhibit represents the pinnacle of Palm Beach County’s agriculture and horticultural excellence with a showstopping design. Guests are invited to feast their eyes on what the fair believes are the best fruits and vegetables in the state in Building 3.
The fair also features four new rides by Wade Shows:
Venetian Carousel — Making its first appearance at the South Florida Fair, the Venetian Carousel brings this midway classic to a whole new level. With not one, but two decks of animals, the ride stands 35 feet tall and is a true drawing card for the midway.
Drag Strip Mega Slide — Back for the first time since the pandemic, this ride was developed exclusively for Wade Shows and is the largest portable slide on the road today. The Drag Strip Mega Slide has eight lanes, stretches 210 feet long, and stands 45 feet tall at the launch pad. Traveling on two and a half trailers, this ride is the only one of its kind and is a popular attraction for the whole family.
Tesla — A new take on a classic midway favorite, the Tesla is known to excite thrill seekers on the midway. One of the fastest rides around, the arms spin and twirl at high speeds, giving riders an unrivaled experience. With new updates and additions, the Tesla will be bringing back riders again and again.
Cyclops — If thrills are what fairgoers seek, the Cyclops delivers. Making a return to the South Florida Fair after a brief absence, the Cyclops’ pendulum swings high, and the claw rotates as it swings high above the midway. The Cyclops is for those who love excitement and want a one-of-a-kind midway experience.
Of course, the fair will also include a wide array of popular returning attractions:
“Ice In Paradise” Ice Skating Show — Fairgoers can count on Rosstyn Ice Shows to present daily ice skating shows in the Ford Theater in Expo West. It’s an opportunity to see professional performances by adagio pairs with their breathtaking moves, including male and female star soloists performing lavish production numbers. Elaborate costumes, state-of-the-art lighting, sound, special effects and scenery, along with talented skaters, make each production unique.
Extreme Illusions & Escapes with Josh Knotts — An edition of this show debuted at the South Florida Fair last year and is returning this year with a new theme-related spectacle that includes a mix of stage illusions, skillful escapes, audience participation and music to go along with it. Located in the Publix Performance Center in Expo East, the Extreme Illusions & Escapes collection is one of the largest touring in the U.S. today. With repeat engagements, they are constantly pushing the envelope on developing new and unique experiences for audiences. More than 300 shows have been annually presented across the U.S., entertaining audiences of all sizes since 2009.
More Than 200 Rides, Games & Attractions — This includes the Midway Sky Eye, known as the “giant wheel.” As North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel, the ride reaches a peak height of 155 feet and is comprised of more than 500 pieces. More than 524,000 individual LED red, green, blue, yellow, orange and purple lights, make it the brightest spectacle at the fair. Guests also can see for miles from the top of this ride.
Comedy Hypnotist Brad Matchett — Matchett returns to the Publix Performance Center in Expo East with his family-friendly, Vegas-style hypnosis show. Willing volunteers who are selected to be in the show provide plenty of laughs for the audience.
Miss South Florida Fair & Miss Palm Beach County — Nineteen participants will compete for more than $13,000 in scholarships. The live portion of the contest will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, starting at 4 p.m. inside the Publix Performance Center in Expo East. Both title winners are automatically entered into the Miss Florida 2024 Competition.
Other Competitions — Additional contests feature a culinary competition, including a senior bake off; Creation Station (crafts and specialty arts) competitions; a rock tribute band competition; a drumline competition; and the third annual Old Time Fiddle Contest in Yesteryear Village. For details, visit www.southfloridafair.com/p/thefair/competitions.
Agriculture & Livestock Programs — This includes more than 2,000 exhibits from nearly 500 exhibitors across Florida. The popular Mooternity exhibit gives guests a chance to see calves being born. At the 2023 fair, 21 calves were born.
Fair hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Hours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15) and every Saturday and Sunday are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., except for Sunday, Jan. 28, which closes at 8 p.m.
The South Florida Fair is produced by the South Florida Fair & Palm Beach County Expositions Inc., a nonprofit organization with a longstanding tradition of raising funds for educational and charitable purposes.
The South Florida Fairgrounds is located at 9067 Southern Blvd. For additional information, call (561) 793-0333 or visit www.southfloridafair.com.