Fairs and Festivals

There's a ton of touristy events going on these days in the Tampa area, starting with the today's opening of the Florida State Fair for 12 days. Then shortly after the annual MOSI Renaissance Fest is on weekends from Feb 13 thru March 28. In between these two events is the Plant City Strawberry Festival from March 4 to 14th.
All these events have moderate admission fees that can be eliminated or decreased with some forethought. One way to get in free is to work or volunteer at the event. The strawberry festival has lots of opportunities working at a booth cutting strawberries or preparing desserts for the local churches or schools selling stuff at the festival. Just put in a few hours of work, and then the rest of the day is open for your pleasure. Another way to get free admission, is to give blood at the bloodmobiles provided by Florida Blood Services. Personally, this is what we're going to do - give blood for tickets.
You can even choose to give blood one day and then come back a different day or weekend and redeem your ticket then, that way you're not weak or tired or thirsty right after. The Ren Fest is a great event with low security so you can bring in beverages and snacks to help make it a frugal day. They even let you exit and go to your car and come back in with more goodies. We like to bring a cooler and leave it in the car to visit a couple times for refreshments.
You can also get discounted tickets for the Strawberry Festival at Sweetbay supermarkets.

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