The Youth Fair returns to the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds for another 18-day residency that celebrates the achievements of Florida's students through contests, scholarships and awards all the while promoting Florida's agricultural sector. And don't forget the whiplash-inducing rides, carny meals, animal shows, live music and entertainment for the entire family. Highlights are here:
Take a look at some of the critters raised on Florida farms at the World of Agriculture Tent, then check out the Cowtown exhibit where fresh ice cream will be made daily, enjoy horse demonstrations by Cavallo Equestrian Arts, witness the ways chickens are pampered and bathed, ogle the fluffy rabbits and other animals at the petting zoo and of course, watch the pig races. Try to forget that all those cute animals will eventually end up on someone’s dinner table.
2. Blowing up
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Has it been one of your life's dreams to be inside of a giant balloon? If you answered yes to that question, head over to the Main Street Stage where you can catch James Johnson, balloon stunt master, as he attempts the impossible feat of cramming more than 18 adults inside a 6-foot latex balloon. If you answered “no” to the question, watch as he attempts his many balloon-related tricks and imagine how much more fun it would be if you had a giant needle in your pocket.
3. The nerve!
The Nerveless Nocks will amaze and astound (and perhaps petrify) audiences when these two daredevils on motorcycles race at high speeds in the giant globe of death and perform aerial stunts over 50 feet in the air without a net. Check them out all 18 days of the fair at the Xtreme Zone.
4. Riding high
What fun is the fair if you aren't on the verge of upchucking your elephant ear thanks to their many exciting rides? New this year is the Backdraft, a fire-themed roller coaster with seven illuminated cars that climb three levels before rushing down in a hair-raising spiral. Also check out the 7D Cinema, an enhanced 7D experience with thrilling special effects from roller coasters to prehistoric eras and other exciting sites. Returning to the Fair this year are favorites like the Space Roller, Mark 3, Twister, Cliff Hanger, Ring of Fire and the Giant Wheel. Don't worry about the little ones: They have the Bear Affair, Kite Flyer, Raiders, Speedway and Teacup at KiddieLand and KiddieLand Too.
5. Musical nights
One of the highlights of the Youth Fair is taking in a free concert (well, free with your paid admission). This year’s lineup will take you on a trip through memory lane with a “Freestyle Blowout” and a double-header featuring salsa stars Willy Chirino and Albita. Here is the musical intinerary for the Youth Fair:
Mr. Nice Guy Band
This music group is comprised of members who have worked with some of the greatest names in entertainment, including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Santana and Stevie Wonder.
7-11 p.m. Saturdays (March 15, 22, 29) at the Fountain Stage
Relive the ’90s with Cynthia, Rockell, Noel and TKA performing the songs you danced to when you had a curly perm and Aqua Net bangs.
7 p.m. Saturday, March 15 at the Main Stage
Los Tres de La Habana and Timbalive
Try not to dance when these two high-energy groups perform their infectious Cuban rhythms.
8 p.m. Friday, March 21 at the Main Stage
Willy Chirino and Albita
Two of Miami’s most beloved Cuban singers, Willy Chirino and Albita, are still cranking out the anthems that make you want to grab a partner and burn a hole in the dance floor.
7 p.m. (Albita), 8 p.m. (Willy Chirino) Saturday, March 22 at the Main Stage
Sonic Flood and Matthew West
Christian artists can rock, too. Check out these contemporary Christian acts that aim to inspire and uplift audiences.
8 p.m. (Sonic Flood), 9 p.m. (Matthew West) Saturday, March 29 at the Main Stage