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The Sarasota County Fair

The Sarasota County Fair

What is it about a county fair that appeals to people? Is it the anticipation of the exciting rides, the interest in creative arts, the opportunity to try your luck at the games, or is it the many varieties of delicious foods that you only get only one time a year?

The first Sarasota County Fair opened on January 22, 1924, on 60 acres of land purchased from Calvin and Martha Payne for $18,000 and included a rodeo, airplane stunts, horse races, and parades. On January 26, 1925, the Sarasota County Fair association opened the county fair to the largest opening day attendance on record in the state of Florida — more than 5,000 people. After the land was deeded to John Ringling in 1927, the fair moved around to various locations throughout the community.

Since 1948, the fair has been held at the Ringling Boulevard location on property deeded to the Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association by the County, and since 1956, after the Jaycees relinquished their sponsorship, the Fair Association and its board have put on the fair.

While the days of airplane stunt shows have passed, you can look forward to thrilling rides, commercial exhibits, music, magic, and comedy. One of the big draws is the agriculture and animal exhibits!

Paintings, photography, sculpture, carving, quilts, ceramics, and nature crafts will be displayed at the Potter building. Culinary arts, canning, and horticulture will also be judged and displayed throughout the fairgrounds. This is the opportunity to see our local citizens' many creative outlets and talents.

The Sarasota County Fair will be in full swing from March 18-27, 2022, at the Sarasota Fairgrounds located off Fruitville Road. Admission for those 55 & over is $6.00, with free parking on the fairgrounds.


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