Florida State Fair Authority
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The year was 1904. The American Flag had 45 stars, Theodore Roosevelt was president and the average American earned 22 cents per hour. It was the year that T.J. Laud-Brown, the manager of the Tampa Bay Hotel convinced the city founders and the rail line that they needed to bring the South Florida Fair to the grounds of the Tampa Bay Hotel. The South Florida Fair Association was formed and plans for a new exhibition were proposed. That first Fair was held on a 27-acre plot adjoining the Henry B. Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel, now known as the University of Tampa. The attractions were simple, as there were five races to bet on and the various agricultural exhibits were showcased in just one building.