Opening day is almost here for the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair

The hours are ticking down to opening day of the 92nd Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair, held from Thursday, Feb. 25 to Sunday, March 6, and offering new, expanded hours. The last day to buy Mega Passes is Feb. 24, so time is almost up to get admission and unlimited rides for any one day of the fair at swflcfair.com.
Fairgoers enjoy free entertainment throughout the day, from Rock-it The Robot to the Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean, a High Wire Thrill Show. New this year is the Fire Fighter Training Show, which divides volunteers into two teams to complete basic tasks at a simulated fire scene, and Dale Scott’s Future of Magic Show, featuring a leading practitioner in the art of stage illusion and comedy magic.   
Livestock competitions, shows and sales are held throughout the 11 days, with over 500 entries including beef breeding, goats, horses, small animals and swine. Specialty goat shows and competitions are by the American Dairy Goat Association, National Pygmy Goat Association and, new for 2016, the American Boer Goat Association. The Market Animal Livestock Sale is held Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m.  
The Creative Living and Home Arts Departments are where the community’s creativity comes alive with over 1,000 entries in various categories. 
The fair will host a number of Master Gardener Workshops on a variety of topics from Growing Hydroponically to Growing Orchids throughout the 11 days of the Fair.  Master Gardeners ‘Ask the Expert’ will be held Wednesday, March 2 from 12:30 – 3 p.m. 
The Community Stage located inside the Lee Civic Center showcases local talent. The Port Charlotte High School Pirate Dance Team kicks off the day Saturday, Feb. 27, followed by the inaugural 5th Grade Math Bee, sponsored by Sylvan of Fort Myers, and then it’s the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Beauty Contest. The community stage will host a number of school dance groups, chorus ensembles, and jazz bands. There’s even a Songwriters Seminar, sponsored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, scheduled for Saturday, March 5 at 4p.m.
On Wednesday, March 2, the fair honors our Seniors and Military with $5 gate admission all day long. Gates open at 11 a.m. with a Senior Dance Contest at 1:30 at Whaley Hall, featuring the Jitterbug and the Twist with live music by the Del Prados. Dance Contest Registration is on-site only from 12:15 – 1 p.m. the day of the event. Three winners in each category will receive prizes. At 4 p.m. enjoy a performance by Danny & The Juniors featuring Joe Terry, popular for songs such as “At the Hop” and “Rock and Roll Is Here Stay.” Lee Memorial Health Services will host a mini health fair offering various screenings and distributing information. 
Ride enthusiasts will not want to miss the new Galaxy Roller Coaster. Back by popular demand is the Stinger and the Speed.  
A host of specials and discounts are available, ranging from Sneak Peek Thursday (Feb. 25), with a $15 special for admission and rides, to our Harry Chapin Food Bank Night (Monday, Feb. 29) with free gate admission for three cans of donated food. TNT is $12 Tuesday and Thursday with $12 wristbands after gate admission. Moonlight Madness is always a favorite for thrill seekers, with $25 for admission and rides from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.   
Mouthwatering fair food is always a great point of interest, with many choices from independent food vendors, most of whom have been with the fair for years! On closing Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m. enjoy a new Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, sponsored by Publix. 
In 2015 the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair welcomed more than 104,000 Fairgoers. The Fair Association is recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and re-donates to a number of other non-profits, including the local 4-H clubs, the United Way, the Rotary and the Araba Shrine units. Lee County Schools are also a beneficiary, and the Fair offers scholarships to graduating seniors.
About the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair
Held at the Fairgrounds and Lee County Civic Center, located on Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers, the Fair is dedicated to promoting agricultural, horticultural, creative arts, and educational opportunities while providing quality entertainment for the citizens of the area. The Fair is recognized as a 501(C)3 non-profit educational organization by the federal government and the State of Florida. The Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair Association is chartered under Florida State Statues Chapter 616 as a District Fair serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties. For more information visit www.swflcfair.com.