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Things you might not know to do at the South Florida Fair

Posted at 5:02 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2020-01-13 13:15:23-05

The amount of fun and interesting things to do at the South Florida Fair is vast.   Everyone knows about the rides, and the food, but there is so much more to the South Florida Fair.

In the Daily Schedule guide, there are some real gems like this weekend there is an America's Got Talent-style competition, next weekend there is a twins contest. But every day there is an impressive model train display. Hidden away in building five at the South Florida Fair is Flagler Station which hosts an elaborate model train display curated by the Palm Beach Model Railroad club.

Robert Metel proudly shares, "We've been here in this building since 1975; before that, we were outside in a tent. We try to have trains that are indicative of Florida."

That Florida stuff includes Tropicana train car, Tri-Rail trains, and even the Delray Beach Tri-Rail Station.  

As for adding Brightline trains? Robert says, "They're not going to manufacture that for a couple of years; it took them six years before they manufactured Tri-Rail."

The presentation is elaborate.  Guests can experience day and night themes, even a fireworks show, and a lightning storm.  Robert and his team are always tinkering.  Sometimes the guard gates work, and sometimes they short out.  How does that make him feel?  "Agghhhhh bad...  well, 15 minutes ago what happened was this locomotive right here, was on the track in front of that train, and it shut down the whole railroad yard in this area," says a disgruntled Robert. 

The exhibit has many South Florida connections and somethings that definitely aren't from around here. "One thing that [isn't]?  Mount Rushmore behind me," jokes Robert.

In the middle of the display is there is the South Florida Fair with working Ferris Wheels, rides, parades, and even audio our very own Kelley Dunn saying, "This is Kelley Dunn Reporting live from the South Florida Fairgrounds for WPTV NewsChannel 5, back to you in the studio."

Proudly Kelley says, "The fair has always been a very big attraction, a very important attraction to the community.  So, you know I've been here a long time, forever and a day, so I think its kinda' neat that I'm immortalized at the fair."

I asked Kelley if that was kinda' awkward, "No, no, but what's awkward is having a dog named after you at the Kennel Club--that was awkward. I was like, here comes Kelley Dunn.  I'm like... okay?"T

The club says those trains operate every day of the fair and the distance they end up traveling is the same as driving from West Palm Beach to Jacksonville.


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