Hi everyone!  Travis back with some awesome Tampa Bay area events taking place at the Florida State Fairgrounds during December.  We won't waste any more of your time...so let's get in to it: 

Dec. 5: Christmas In The Country
Experience the sights, sounds and smells of an old-fashioned country Christmas in Cracker Country from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Learn how the holiday traditions of the 19th century differ from those of the 21st through hands-on historical interpretations, carols, making traditional decorations and more!

Remember all the regular year-round work like butter making and laundry still have to be done, despite the time of year.  This program is open to all guests and is an exceptional value. Adult admission is $6; children ages 6 to 12 and seniors pay $5; and kids ages 5 and under are free.

Parking is free for this event when visitors enter the Fairgrounds via the Orient Road entrance. For more information, visit online www.crackercountry.org, e-mail Susan Obarski at obarsks@doacs.state.fl.us or call 813-627-4225 on Monday through Friday during business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 5: International Talent Competition Auditions
If you have talent, then the Florida State Fair is looking for you to audition live for its International Talent Competition on Saturday, December 5. 

Audition to be the next big star in one of the following categories in English or Spanish language: Singers/Bands, Instrumental, Dancers and Other Performance Art (comedy,magic, etc.).  The event will be held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in the Ag Hall of Fame building from 3 to 8 p.m. 

Registration starts at 3 p.m. with live auditions beginning in order of arrival by each contestant.  Parking and admission is free for this event.  Visitors should enter the property via the Orient Road entrance and follow the signs to the building for auditions.  Only live auditions will be considered; any other audition format such as video or audio tapes will be disqualified. 

This competition is open only to individuals who are 18 years of age or older and are legally eligible to work in the United States.  For more information, visit online www.floridastatefair.com or call 813-621-7821 for details. 

Dec. 5-6: Suncoast Gun Show and Sale
One of Florida's premier gun shows returns to the Special Events Center for two days. The Suncoast Gun Show and Sale features firearms-related accessories including gun parts, gun-related tools, knives, cases, locks, cartridge boxes and belts, and ammunition for collectors.

Show hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, children 12 and younger are admitted free. All persons under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Admission costs are cash only. The Concealed Weapons/Firearms Safety Course fee is $45 per person.

The classes are offered on both days at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and last approximately 2 hours. All students must attend the range training and the range fee is $5. Appointments are not needed for these classes, nor are firearms. Parking is $5 per car or $10 per RV or bus for each time a vehicle enters the grounds.

Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information and online admission coupons, visit www.suncoastgunshows.com or call Suncoast Gun Collectors at 330-963-6964.

Dec. 6: Concert - 97x Next Big Thing
Miller Lite presents the 97X Next Big Thing rock show featuring more than twelve bands on multiple stages performing at the Ford Amphitheatre on Sunday. Artists scheduled to perform include Rise Against, Chevelle, The Used, 30 Seconds to Mars, Matisyahu, Panic at the Disco, Sick Puppies, Anberlin, Framing Hanley, Manchester Orchestra, Cage the Elephant, Metric and more!

Gates open at 10 a.m. Ticket prices are $65 for PIT section, $55 Level 200, $20-$40 Level 300, and $30 for general admission lawn seating. There will be a parking fee and service charge added to the price of each ticket unless otherwise noted. 

All dates, times, and acts are subject to change or cancel without notice. Rain or shine. Tickets to all Ford Amphitheatre events can be purchased in person at the Ford Amphitheatre Box Office or online exclusively at www.livenation.com.

Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 877-598-8698.  Concert guests should enter the Fairgrounds via U.S. Hwy. 301 or the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. Only guests with VIP parking access should enter through Orient Road.  For more information on this event, visit online http://97xonline.com or call 813-740-2446.

Dec. 12-13: Cheer America Competitions
Cheerleaders from nine surrounding counties, ranging in age from 5 to 15, will get the crowd pumped up as they battle it out in the Charles M. Davis Special Events Center.
Performances take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Cheerleader registration is $47 in advance or $53 on the day of the event. General admission for spectators is $7 in advance or $10 at the door per person; children ages three and younger are admitted free.
Parking is $5 per car or $10 per RV or bus. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, visit online www.allamericanyouth.org or call 813-885-2292.

Dec. 19-20: Tampa Model Train Show & Sale
Golden Spike Enterprises hosts its 5th Annual Tampa Railfair and Model Train Show and Sale in the Charles M. Davis Special Events Center for two days.  Over 350 tables representing dealers from all over the nation will have model items in all gauges and Railroad Antiques for sale. This is Florida's largest combination show, displaying items for both the 'modeler' and 'rail buff' alike all under one roof.

The model railroader may choose from Lionel, American Flyer, LGB, Marklin or Ives Trains from the past or present. The rail buff may focus on dining car china, lanterns, switch locks and keys, calendars, timetables or any other artifacts actually utilized by the railroads. As extra features of this show are six large, award-winning, working layouts with displays and clinics for all to enjoy. 

Also, Santa Claus will be there with free gifts for all the children attending.  Show hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 per adult, good for both days; children under 12 are admitted free.

Visit online www.gserr.com for a discount card on admission; only cash will be accepted for admission at the door. Parking is $5 per car or $10 per RV or bus. Visitors should enter the Fairgrounds via the M.L.K., Jr. Blvd. entrance. For more information, e-mail Alan Altman at gse99@aol.com or call 813-949-7197.

Phew...that's just about it!  But as always, if you want more info, you can just log on to their website at www.Floridastatefair.com.  or, just keep checking back here as we continue to bring you the best Tampa Bay area events, as well as other great things to do in Tampa Bay!