Funnel Cakes & Ferris Wheels: Fair Opens Friday - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Funnel Cakes & Ferris Wheels: Fair Opens Friday

By Lindsay Cohen email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) -- Monkeys and music and the midway... oh my.

Chinese acrobats and creatures from "down under" are among the new acts this year at the South Florida Fair, which opens on Friday at the South Florida Fairgrounds. In addition to the usual music, food, and rides, the fair also boasts new exhibits featuring mountain bears, baboons, and Australian animals, like kangaroos and bearded dragons.

The fair also boasts the largest portable roller coaster in the country this year. The ride takes seven trailers to transport and several days to erect, said John Picano, with the South Florida Fair.

"This sensational ride gives a thrill unlike any other coaster available at a fair in the United States," said Picano, in a statement.

Musical acts include Julianne Hough, Chuck Wicks, James Otto, Blue Oyster Cult, The Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, MercyMe, Switchfoot and Lady Antebellum, as well as country music artist Cecilia Lauren, from Greenacres.

The fair is also going "green" in some ways, adding recycling containers throughout the midway and changing some lighting fixtures to low wattage fluorescent bulbs, which are more energy efficient.

The South Florida Fair started in 1912 as the four-day Palm Beach County Fair, located near the current county courthouse in West Palm Beach.  

Admission to the fair is free on Friday if you attend the opening ceremonies, which start around 11 am.

If you go: SOUTH FLORIDA FAIR

Dates: January 16th - February 1st, 2009

Hours: 12:00 noon - 10:00 pm Monday through Friday; 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Saturday & Sunday. 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Dr. Martin Luther King Day on Monday, January 19th. 10:00 am - 8:00 pm on Sunday, Feb. 1st. Midnight Madness each Saturday night is 10:00 pm - 2:00 am, where you can ride all rides with a $25 wristband, which includes admission to the fair that day.

Admission: Adults $10 advance purchase prior to January 16th/$15 at gate / Children (6-11) $5 advance purchase prior to January 16th/$8 at gate. Kids 5 and under admitted free. Seniors $7 advance purchase prior to January 16th and $9 at gate. 

Helpful links: Head to http://www.southfloridafair.com/ for a schedule of ticket packages and purchase information.

Parking: Parking is free. Preferred parking $10 weekdays/$20 weekends. 

Location: The South Florida Fair is on Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach,1.5 miles west of the Florida Turnpike exit #97.

Phone: (561) 793-0333 or toll-free in Florida 800-640-FAIR

Internet: http://www.southfloridafair.com/

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