After COVID-19 spring cancellation, modified version of Clay County Fair kicking off Friday

People must buy tickets online ahead of Clay Fair event

In just over 48 hours – the Clay County Fair returns… but not the way you're used to. You will also need to buy tickets online ahead of time. News4jax reporter Ashley Harding joins us live.

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Great memories have been made at the Clay County Fair for generations. Crews are now setting up for this year’s event at the Clay County Fairgrounds, set to kick off Friday and last through Sunday. The Clay County Fair Association wants to make it clear that because the actual fair was canceled in spring, this is a special, modified version for families to enjoy. General Manager, Tasha Hyder, says this will also give local vendors a much-needed boost. After much time off, she’s ready for the action.

“I’m not an emotional person, but I shed some tears when we made that final call to cancel the fair,” Hyder said. “So, being able to bring something back to the community, we’re super excited about it.”

While animals will not be present at the event, attendees can expect a concert lineup, drive-in movies, and plenty of fair food. Which, is always a favorite. Hyder says for the movies, there is a 200 person cap. For concerts and food, the association should be able to fit a couple thousand safely on the ground, where people can spread out. Hyder says safety is key and rules will have to be followed.

“We have hand sanitizer, we do have enforcers walking around to make sure everyone is following those guidelines,” Hyder said. “We do want this to be a safe, fun environment for everyone.”

Hyder says masks must be worn while waiting in food lines, ride lines, and inside restrooms. Hyder says to help keep people safe, the event will have what it’s calling “social squares”. They’re 10 feet by 10 feet, and 6 feet away from other groups. Folks will be able to eat their food inside the social squares as they wait for the concerts, but the venue is not providing picnic tables and chairs. People are encouraged to bring their own.

“Super excited to be able to gather again. That’s something most of us have missed with this quarantine, is the human interaction,” Hyder said. “So, we’re excited to be able to offer that to our community.”

The Ferris wheel will also be there for families to enjoy, just like old times. Hyder says riders will be with their family or friends unit, not strangers. Best of all, she says $1 per Ferris wheel ticket will go toward food pantries.

Sanitation and cleaning will be happening multiple times each day throughout the venue. Hyder looks forward to welcoming people back and making new memories.

Tickets must be purchased online, in advance. You will not be able to purchase tickets at the event. To buy tickets, click here.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.