Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition Inc., known for generations as The Youth Fair, is the largest nonprofit charity event in South Florida, attracting nearly 600,000 guests. It is a 21-day showcase of agricultural and educational exhibits, midway rides, concerts, carnival food and games, and family entertainment on the Fairgrounds at Tamiami Park located at SW 107th Ave. and Coral Way, Miami, Fla. 33165, its home since 1972.
The Youth Fair’s mission is to enrich the community by promoting education and South Florida agriculture. The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition is a private organization that does not rely on taxpayer dollars. Since 1952, the organization contributed more than $11 million to the Miami-Dade County community and has had a positive impact on countless lives of children and adults.
Ranked as the largest attended fair in Florida and the 27th largest event of its kind throughout North America, it was organized and chartered as a not-for-profit association under Chapter 616 of the Florida Statutes. In addition to producing a first-class public fair for four weeks each spring on an 86-acre complex, it operates the Expo Center the other 48 weeks of the year to provide exposition space for 70 shows and events. The fair is held by a private 16-member board of directors.
The 2019 Youth Fair dates are March 14-April 7, excluding Monday and Tuesday, March 18-19, and Monday and Tuesday, April 1-2, when it will be closed.
The Youth Fair admission price at the gate is $14. Guests who are 5 years and younger, 65 years and older, or retired military personnel with a valid military ID are admitted at no cost on opening day and on Wednesdays.
Advance discount prices for admission and rides are offered for purchase online up to the eve of Opening Day at The Youth Fair's website.
Ticket prices at the Fairgrounds:
- Unlimited rides pass: $28 for weekdays and $35 for the weekend
- 10-ticket ride sheet: $10
- 22-ticket ride sheet: $22
- 55-ticket ride sheet: $55
- 21-Day admission pass: $26 (sold through March 29, 2019)
- Express Pass: $20
Concerts are free with general admission.
In 2018, the Mainstreet Stage was host to Gente de Zona, Ginuwine, La Adictiva Banda San José de Mesillas, La Maquinaria Norteña, Lecrae, Nelly, The Sugarhill Gang, and TLC.
In 2017, the Mainstreet Stage was host to Skillet, Jacob Forever, Carlos Daniels and J. Alvarez. Luis Enrique served as Grand Marshall of the Opening Day Parade.
In 2016, the Mainstreet Stage was host to Village People, MercyMe, Jessie James Decker, La Salsa Vive, Oscar D'Leon, Hansel, Sonora Carruseles, Tavares, and "Celebrating Celia Cruz" with performances by Willy Chirino, Aymee Nuviola, Jeimy Osorio and the Celia Cruz All Stars.
In 2015, the Mainstreet Stage hosted: Kool & The Gang, Music from the '80s with Shannon, Judy Torres, Johnny O and Nice & Wild.
In 2014, the Mainstreet Stage hosted: Music from the '90s with Cynthia, Rockell, Noel and TKA; Mr. Nice Guy Band; Los Tres de La Habana and Timbalive; Willy Chirino; Albita; Sonic Flood; Matthew West.
In 2013, the Mainstreet Stage hosted: "We Are the In Crowd"; Kidz Bop; Gocho; Matt Hunter.
In 2011, concerts included Mr. C & The Cha Cha Slide, Chino Y Nacho, Luis Enrique, FCW Stars & WWE Wrestling, Sid the Science Kid, The Ready Set, Natalie Grant, Jerry Rivera, The Dirty Sock Funtime Band, Paper Tongues, and Ricky C.
The Youth Fair offers something for everyone with more than 63,000 student exhibits, plus agriculture exhibits, family entertainment, 170 food stands, thrilling rides and 130 shops.
- 1001 Nachts
- House of horror
- Ring of love
- Ring of Fire
- Swing Tower
- Mega Drop
- Ferris Wheel
- Pharaoh's Fury
- KMG - Hurricane
Giving Back to the Community
Since inception, The Youth Fair has presented well above $11 million to the Miami-Dade community in the form of college scholarships, cash premiums and awards to students.
In 2018, its Scholarship Program awarded 182 non-renewable $1,000 competitive scholarships to graduating high school seniors attending Miami-Dade County public and private schools, including home school and charter school students, vocational students and alternative education students. Recipients included 16 students who plan to study for careers related to agriculture.
The Youth Fair Scholarship Fund also allocates scholarship awards to the winners of the prestigious Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics Essay Contest for Miami-Dade County Public high school juniors and seniors.
In 2013, Miami-Dade County began a process of discussing a possible relocation of The Youth Fair, which would allow Florida International University to expand its campus. The Youth Fair follows the terms of its lease with Miami-Dade County, which includes a provision for early termination. If the county identifies a relocation site that meets the terms of the lease equal to or better than the present site, and if FIU raises more than the $230 million that relocation will cost (plus the cost of land) there would be a three-year notice to move. However any possible move is, at the very least, years away.
- "Fair receives 24 awards in global competition among peers". Miami Today. 14 January 2016 – via http://www.miamitodaynews.com.
- "Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Experiences Increased Attendance - North American Midway Entertainment (NAME)". North American Midway Entertainment (NAME). Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Florida Statutes & Constitution". www.leg.state.fl.us. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "The Youth Fair: Five things we are excited about," The Miami Herald, 13 March 2014, http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article1961334.html
- "Miami-Dade County Fair is back for more food and fun," The Miami Herald, 12 March 2013, http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article1948119.html
- North American Midway, http://www.namidway.com/fairs-events/
- "Youth Fair's 2016 Scholarship Program taking applications," Kendall Gazette, Dec. 22, 2015
- Richardson, Adrianne. "Miami-Dade County Fair awards $1,000 scholarships to 151 local high-school seniors,", Miami Herald, July 18, 2017
- Mazzei, Patricia (July 17, 2014). "Miami-Dade commission: Find new home for youth fair so FIU can expand". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 21, 2014.