Prehistoric Fun At The Fairgrounds

Prehistoric Fun At The Fairgrounds
2023 South Florida Fair Jan. 13-29 Will Be ‘Dino-Myte’

By Doreen Marcial Poreba

Dinosaurs may be extinct, but they will come alive at the 111th annual South Florida Fair, which is themed “Dino-Myte.” The 2023 event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a Ride-A-Thon on Thursday, Jan. 12, and the full fair being held Jan. 13-29 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, located at 9067 Southern Blvd.

With a scale unmatched in animatronic dinosaur displays, Imagine Exhibitions will showcase some of the world’s most unique and recently discovered dinosaurs in a traveling exhibit titled “Dinosaurs Around the World.” Guests will experience a multi-layered narrative and cutting-edge research. They’ll discover which dinosaurs lived where and how they arrived, and learn about tectonic plates, geological formations and the latest paleontological research.

The South Florida Fair also will bring Jurassic Kingdom to fairgoers. Since 2014, this show has been one of the most beloved displays in the fair and festival industry. Host Miss Kala opens the show with an introduction that sends the audience back in time. Guests will have the opportunity to see lifelike dinosaurs in action and may touch and interact with them throughout the show.

Additional theme-related exhibits include prehistoric dinosaur adventures, a mobile museum, the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History, the Cox Science Museum & Aquarium, dinosaur explorer, the Dino Encounters Excavation Zone and Mr. Adler — an experienced paleontologist who loves to take his babies for a stroll around the fair.

“We like to present what we call ‘edutainment’ at the fair, where our guests can learn and be entertained at the same time,” said Vicki Chouris, the fair’s president and CEO. “We began creating themes in 1993, and our themed expositions are one of the most popular attractions of our 17-day event.”

New experiences at the fair are also a priority. All new for 2023 — two different wine pairing dinners, which will take place in the hospitality building on Monday, Jan. 23, and on Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. Presented by Cugini Winery, limited tickets will be available for $75 per person, which includes fair admission. Reservations are required. Wine tastings also will occur each day in Building 3, along with demonstrations (included in fair admission).

Another new feature will be a drumline competition on the community stage and two robotic competitions. A kids’ bake off on Jan. 21 will include 25 children from Palm Beach County schools who will make a variety of desserts. Artist Alley will feature the artwork of some of the area’s most creative artists in Building 2, and the Horton Fair Display will show off a giant fair display of rides and more, all made from recycled materials.

The tried-and-true fair favorites also will return, including quilts and other handmade items on display.

Among the top reasons guests attend the fair is to delight in the vendors’ wacky food creations. The usual “fried everything” will be offered, as well as new items, which include Miller Lemonade’s pickle lemonade, Holy Macaroni’s Thai bowls and its build-your-own macaroni bowls, which were introduced last year. Guaca Go is returning with its vegan guacamole and plant-based meat options that can be added.

New vendors include Mango Splash, which will tempt fairgoers with mango cups, mangonadas and empanadas. Guests will be able to build their own gourmet nachos at Rosie’s Nachos, Low & Slow will feature barbecue pork with assorted sides, the Biscuit Barn will create assorted biscuit sandwiches, and Bubble Tea & Bubble Waffles will prepare freshly made teas and waffles.

Of course, the rides are also among the top reasons people attend the fair. More than 200 rides and games will return, including the Midway Sky Eye, North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel. New rides include the Wave Swinger and Corky’s Wipeout.

At the root of the fair is its award-winning agriculture and livestock program featuring more than 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 Florida counties. The Mooternity barn is always a hit, giving guests a chance to see calves being born. This year, a new horse show titled Hollywood Horses Tricks & Tales is expected to wow guests as well.

Five stages of live music and entertainment will get guests on their feet, dancing the night away, and fans will appreciate that the Tribute Band Competition is returning. The traditional fair offerings that folks have come to expect and enjoy also will be back with attractions that include the racing pigs, ice skating shows, daily parades with custom floats from New Orleans and shopping.

“Our fair is really about making memories and keeping a tradition going that has lasted for more than a century,” Chouris said.

The South Florida Fair is produced by the South Florida Fair & Palm Beach County Expositions Inc., a nonprofit organization, and has a longstanding tradition of raising funds for educational and charitable purposes.

For more information, call (561) 793-0333 or visit