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Miami Central's big presence at Youth Fair

Erick Johnson | 3/13/2014, 9 a.m.

The 63rd annual Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition opens Thursday, with new spectacular rides, concerts, mouth-watering foods, animal and agricultural competitions featuring over over 40,000 artists and students.

About 164 culinary and graphic arts entries were from students at Miami Central High, according to fair promoter Eloise Rodriguez. Other urban high schools, including Northwestern, Edison, Jackson and Booker T. Washington all entered the competition, but Central has most entries among them, Rodriguez said.

The Culinary Arts Cook-off is an individual or team event. The Culinary Arts Cook-off will recognize participants for their ability to produce a quality meal using culinary arts techniques. Entrants must develop a themed menu and plan for preparation on site at The Fair at a scheduled time and date for their event to be judged.

The largest fair in Florida, The Youth Fair attracts well over half a million guests every year. Officials are is thrilled to announce the addition of a new ride and the return of all-time favorites. Altogether, fairgoers can experience nearly 100 thrilling rides this year.

One new ride this year is the Backdraft roller coaster, a fire themed coaster that lights up and climbs three levels before sending riders on a hair-raising trip. Another new ride, 7D Cinema is an enhanced 7D theatrical simulator that transports guests to a prehistoric era through enchanted tunnels and sites. 7D Cinema will be located near The World of Agriculture Tent.

Returning to the fair this year is the popular Space Roller, a ride that leaves the guests’ feet dangling. The main arm of Space Roller is raised to the sky while the star-shaped wheel with vehicles attached shakes, rattles and rolls at heart-pounding heights and speeds before making its descent back to earth.

In addition, The Youth Fair will feature other favorites such as the Mark 3, Twister, Cliff Hanger, Ring of Fire and the Giant Wheel. The little ones will be able to enjoy age and size appropriate rides, such as Bear Affair, Kite Flyer, Raiders, Speedway and Teacup at KiddieLand and KiddieLand Too!

Kids can also enjoy a Petting Zoo, magic shows, record-setting stunt shows and Tadpole & Katie the Clowns. At the Food and Agriculture are kids will receive a hands-on, educational experience that will teach kids how to make ice cream, cheese, butter and soap. Guests will also get an up-close look at a real Texas Longhorn steer.

The fair will also have new live concerts, spanning diverse genres and generations of music, for all ages to enjoy. The concerts are all free with admission.

Miami-Dade County high school seniors may apply for more than $70,000 in college scholarships offered this spring by the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition. Seniors enrolled in public and private high schools in Miami-Dade County are eligible for the awards.

To date, The Fair has awarded over $8 million in scholarships, premiums, and awards to Miami-Dade high school graduates to help them achieve college educations. This program is a cornerstone of our commitment to community service.

The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair opens Thursday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, March 30. It is located at 10901 SW 24 St. (Coral Way), Miami, FL 33165