This year’s theme is “Magical Parades.” Each day of the 17-day 2018 South Florida Fair, Jan. 12-28, a famous parade from around the world will be highlighted, complete with authentic music, colorful costumes and highly decorated Mardi Gras floats, which also will be on display in the “Magical Parades” exhibition. Float riders are expected to delight fairgoers as they toss beads into the crowds.
• North America’s largest, portable observation wheel — the 155-foot tall Midway Sky Eye — is coming to the South Florida Fair for the first time. Equipped with more than 524,000 LED lights and 36 gondolas holding six riders each, they’ll be able to see for miles from the top. Cost is $5/rider; wristbands are excluded from this ride.
• Lady Houdini (Kristen Johnson), known as the world’s premier female escape artist, is expected to amaze her audiences. She broke Harry Houdini’s record in 2012 for the most water torture cell escapes ever performed, estimated at over 2,000 attempts. She and her husband, Kevin Ridgeway, who emcees the show, were originally scheduled to perform at last year’s fair but were involved in a serious car accident the day before the 2017 fair’s start and had to cancel. Since their recovery, they have built a segment into their show about the dangers of distracted driving.
• An all-new entertainment lineup, including four stages of music and entertainment include the concert series at the Coca-Cola Stage with performances by Christian singer Matthew West, pop-rockers Atlanta Rhythm Section, country artist Chris Lane, internationally acclaimed Grand Funk Railroad and iconic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. A variety of bands, including Frankie Negron, Anthony La Makina, Samba New York, Grupo Impress and La Esencial, also will perform during Latin Fest on Sun., Jan. 21. See entertainment news release for details.
• A Magical Parades Carousel will be set up in Expo East where guests enter. There will be a nominal charge that will benefit a different charity each day.
• See chicks being hatched in the poultry tent in a new display area.
• The addition of a caboose on display in Yesteryear Village. The authentic railroad car dates back to the1920s or so and weighs 54,000 pounds. Eventually, the caboose will be fully renovated so guests can see the caboose inside and out the way it originally appeared.
• Back by popular demand: $2 Fat Tuesdays – Jan. 16 and 23. Admission, rides and food bites will be $2 all day. Some rides are excluded, including the Midway Sky Eye.
• Ghost Tours will return to Yesteryear Village every night at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday when the village closes. Cost is $15 and does not include fair admission. Guests will meet in the Red Level Baptist Church and the stops will include the Corbett shack, the Bait and Tackle shop, and the Riddle house.
• Multiple ice skating shows themed “Ice Parades“ will take place daily.
• Tricky Dogs show, a circus style comedy dog act featuring Rick Martin and his talented cast of canine clowns, returns. Last year, he and his pack of rescue dogs prompted both children and adults in the audience to laugh out loud at their entertaining antics.
Produced by the South Florida Fair & Palm Beach County Expositions, Inc., a nonprofit organization, the fair’s 106th edition will kick off at 5 p.m. on Jan. 11 with its Ride-A-Thon. The full fair will run from Jan. 12-28 at the fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 793-0333 or visit the website, http://www.southfloridafair.com.