After climbing off the rollercoaster that was 2020, the South Florida Fair wants you climbing back into Ferris wheels and chair lifts in 2021.
The two-week carnival of spinning rides, buckets of French fries and midway fun will return Jan. 15-31 to the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach in a scaled-back format, organizers announced this week.
“Just as Disney, art events, boat shows and other entertainment venues have reopened, we also are moving forward with our guests’ safety as our No. 1 priority,” says Vicki Chouris, South Florida Fairgrounds’ president and CEO.
That may sound like music to your elephant ears, but know that COVID-19 protocols – no surprise – will be baked into the fair’s 2021 programming. Big changes will include shorter, more frequent entertainment shows; more outdoor strolling acts and fewer indoor stage acts; and a new air-conditioning filtration system inside the Expo Center. There also will be mandatory masks, hand washing, sanitizer stations, touchless doors and Plexiglas dividers.
The carnival typically draws tens of thousands of fairgoers, making six-foot social distancing especially tricky, Chouris says. Which is why the fair is nixing activities with heavy foot traffic, such as the fair’s daily parades. Its “$2 Tuesdays” promotion – always a big crowd driver – has been postponed until 2022. The fair’s entertainment tent has also been converted into a shaded outdoor venue, she says.
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SouthFloridaFair.com between Dec. 4 and Jan. 14, 2021, and cost $10 for ages 11 and older. Tickets at the gate will be $10 Monday-Friday and $15 Saturday-Sunday – about $5 cheaper than last year. Powerpass, which includes admission and unlimited rides on weekdays, costs $25.