Agriculture and education build life skills and community

The Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair opens on Thursday, Feb. 25, and more than 550 livestock exhibitors have registered, with animals ranging from steer and swine to chicken and rabbits. Just as many entries have already been received for the Creative Living and Home Arts Department, demonstrating our neighbors’ many interesting talents in areas including crafts, canned foods, art, photography and horticulture.

Now in its 92nd year, the fair runs through March 6, and is always an opportunity to experience thrilling rides, enjoy great food and be entertained by all kinds of free shows and performing acts. It also serves to highlight the importance of agriculture, fosters life skills and pride of achievement in young people, provides educational opportunities to the public and builds a sense of community in our fast-paced modern world. There are many livestock shows and competitions throughout the eleven day event, so be sure to check the schedule for your favorite!  

Registration is in full swing in the Creative Living and Home Arts Department, as well as Horticulture. New categories this year are Cake Decorating (in Youth, Non-Professional and Professional categories), the all new fun 3D Doodle Art, and even a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest. Check out all the categories in the Creative Living and Home Arts Department and be sure to create your own signature design to submit in your favorite category. Recycled Art and Glue a Shoe always bring out new designs and ideas! There’s also a variety of Master Gardeners’ Workshops scheduled on an array to topics. Be sure not to miss your favorite topic – remember, registration is always free. 

Online registration is highly encouraged and in some categories is mandatory. Online registration closes Thursday, February 18 at 4:30 p.m., and will ensure your entry tags and forms will be completed and ready for you when you arrive to deliver your articles. If not registering online, you can register when dropping off your entries. All entries’ time and details for the Creative Living and Home Arts Department are outlined in the Divisions, Categories, Rules and Registration information located on the Fair Association’s website at on the Creative Living tab. Please email all questions to or call Pat Palmer at (239) 313-8058. 

Fair Manager Fran Crone said, “As you stroll around the fairgrounds, you will see the pride the exhibitors have in their projects, hear the fun and laughter of the guests, and smell the mouthwatering fair foods along the midway. We are excited as we continue to grow each year and that we are able to offer our community such a wonderful event.”

As a District Fair, the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair represents Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. In 2015 the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair welcomed more than 104,000 patrons during the eleven days and had more than 1,500 exhibitors showing in various categories. As a result of the various competitions over $42,000 was awarded in the forms of premiums, awards and scholarships.

Visit for all information, including gate admission, specials and the ever-popular Mega Pass – the Mega Pass is a pre-event sale item only. 

About the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair

Held on the Fairgrounds of the Lee County Civic Center, located at 11831 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
This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.