87ºF

Greater Jacksonville Fair opens Wednesday

State inspectors check every ride ahead of opening

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Final preparations and safety inspections were underway Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's opening of the 61st annual Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair.

Less than 24 hours before the fair opens at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, located in the sports complex in downtown Jacksonville and adjacent from EverBank Field, all hands were on deck as crews pieced together rides, started preparing food and set up exhibitions.

IMAGES: Nighttime images of Jacksonville Fair

Inspectors with state Agricultural Department were also making rounds to ensure everyone is safe for this year's "Red, White and You" themed fair.

Gayle Hart, vice president of marketing for the Greater Jacksonville Fair, said they hoped every ride will be tagged by inspectors, which means the ride has been deemed safe for riders.

"We really have the best inspectors in the United States," Hart said.

It's a tedious but necessary process. 

"If it doesn't pass inspection, it's not opening at all," Hart said.

For those who don't like rides, no need to worry. Hart said there's plenty of activities at the fair for every age and everyone in the family.

There's also options for any budget, like the firefighter show or the kid zone, which are both free with fair admission. Families can also go view all the animals.

"(There's) the roosters and the rabbits and the cattle. And then we have free entertainment on our stage for the price of a ticket," Hart said. "You can do the fair at your own pace, and at your own pocketbook."

Concerts include University of Florida graduate Easton Corbin and "The Voice" star RaeLynn.

Anyone planning on attending any of the games at EverBank Field while the fair is in town -- the Notre Dame-Navy game on Saturday or the Jacksonville Jaguars game against the Houston Texans on Nov. 13 -- is reminded that their ticket stub will allow them to get into the fair for free on game day before 4 p.m.

"It will affect parking. There's a lot of people going to the game as well as people coming to the fair," Hart said.

Hart reminded fair attendees to bring cash and patience if planning to park downtown. The fair will be open through Sunday, Nov. 13.

Discounted tickets for the fair can be purchased at Jacksonville Walgreens or on JacksonvilleFair.com until midnight. 

Watch "The Morning Show" on Channel 4 from 8-9 a.m. until Friday for a chance to win four tickets to the Jacksonville Fair. For more information, click here.


About the Authors: