Lee County Fair opens this week at the Civic Center | News, Sports, Jobs
Last year, the Lee County Fair in southwest Florida struck the clock, closing just before the public events of the pandemic.
And although it was feared that there might not be a 97th version of the fair this year, it will continue from Thursday through Sunday, March 7th, at the Lee Civic Center.
However, it will not be what trade fair visitors have seen in the past. Things will be much more dispersed and the rides will be cleaned regularly to follow CDC guidelines and keep people safe.
Mike Peak, president of the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair Association, said it was a different event this year, with fewer rides and gambling.
“Absolutely big changes for us. CDC guidelines are our delineator. We distribute the trips so that we can distance ourselves socially and have less independent providers. “ Said Peak. “We’ve also thinned out the interior of the community center and even changed the animal plan.”
Inside the civic center, the school booths will remain, but most of the entertainment and talent won’t happen to do justice to social distancing. Peak said many of the dance studios, for example, couldn’t attend.
The fair has moved their goat area from the Tinsley Pavilion to the pigsty for the first weekend. The goats will leave on Monday and the pigs will come on Tuesday with the Wednesday show. Peak said the pigs had been there all along in the past. The auction is not expected to change significantly but will follow recommended CDC guidelines.
According to Peak, many of the other fairs had little or no impact on participation.
“Your numbers seem to have stayed the same as in the past few years. Manatee County Fair, Lake City Fair, they’ve already performed. And the staff visited them and stayed in touch with them and the numbers don’t seem to have gone down. That is why we are optimistic. “ Said Peak.
Last year’s fair drew a little over 100,000 people, which is roughly 10,000 people who did not hit their record.
As always, the preview will take place next Thursday at 4:00 p.m. with an entry price of $ 1 and rides of $ 1 with a purchase of $ 10.
Friday is the official start of the fair with free entry from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and free rides from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The first Moonlight Madness takes place from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and costs $ 25.
The weekend brings regular entry to the gate and wristbands for $ 40. Active military and veterans have free entry with an identity card during the entire fair. The gates open at 11 a.m.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank Night will take place on Monday March 1st. Entry is free as three cans of food are donated. Tuesday is $ 15, with all the rides you can get after entering the gate for $ 15.
Wednesday is Seniors and Military Day, with gates open at 2pm with $ 5 entry all day and $ 10 ride bands for kids’ rides and $ 20 for all rides. Thursday is $ 25 entry to the gate and all rides.
Moonlight Madness returns on Friday March 5th, while on Sunday, the last day of the fair, there will be a final push that they will keep secret until then.
Free attractions include Eudora Farms’ Petting Zoo, Ron Diamond Hypnosis Magic, Marc Dobson, the One Man Band, the Moogician, Tadpole the Clown, Renata The Band, the Fritzy Brothers, Danny Grant’s Cowboy Circus, and more.
General admission tickets are $ 8 upfront and $ 10 at the door. Children ages 6-11 pay $ 4 upfront, $ 5 at the gate. The $ 25 Mega Pass, which includes entry and all rides, is available until next Thursday.
Visit swflcfair.com for more information.