JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To those who attend the fair, it may be all fun and games. But to Jacksonville city leaders, the fair also means more money.
The first Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair was held in 1955. It is now the largest fair or festival in northeast Florida and is ranked 47th in the United States by Amusement Business.
The fair has an estimated economic impact on Duval County in excess of $10 million. The impact to the city through lease revenues, and money made from parking during the 12 days of the fair is nearly $200,000 each year.
Since the start of the fair, it has made contributions totaling more than $3 million to charitable and civic organizations. 500 people volunteer at the fair each year.
"We do bring a lot of heads and beds, especially with our exhibitors as they show their cattle," said fair executive director Gayle Hart. "Last year we had a little over 400,000 attend the fair.
The fair opened Wednesday and continues through Sunday, Nov. 17th. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. - midnight; Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.