Clay County Fair returns with full capacity, safety protocols in place

Thousands expected during fair’s 11-day run

Tomorrow, the Clay County Fair will open to guests as it becomes one of the first major fairs to take place since the pandemic.

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – When the 35th annual Clay County Fair kicks off on Thursday, it will be the first major event to have full-capacity crowds in Northeast Florida in more than a year.

The fair was canceled last year because of the pandemic. While the fair will welcome thousands back to the Clay County Fairgrounds, safety measures will be in place. There will be more handwashing stations and hand sanitizer available. Masks are strongly encouraged but not required. An 11th day was added to the fair’s run in an effort to cut down crowd size.

“I can’t wait for these gates to open. It’s been such a hurdle to get the gates open and we are so excited to be back,” said General Manager Tasha Hyder. “Our theme is, ‘What a Ride.’ Thirty-five years and it has been a ride, so that theme fits perfectly,”

Hyder told News4Jax the hurdles varied.

“Our entertainers, some of them have canceled so we’ve had to work hard to replace them pretty quickly,” Hyder explained. “Some of our suppliers, they don’t have the inventory to bring out to us that we’re used to having. We’re short employees, our food vendors are short, our ride company is short but right now we’re feeling pretty good.”


When the gates open at 2 p.m. Thursday the fair will have the same look and feel as previous years.

“Everything that you’re used to seeing at the Clay County Fair is going to be here,” said Hyder.

Organizers said they are expecting a good turnout this year. So far, three concerts are already sold out. There will be several safety measures in place, including more sanitization and hand washing stations, additional signage, and increased cleaning.

The fair runs through April 11.

Organizers are expecting a big turnout, since this will be the first major event in the area to welcome crowds back at full capacity since the pandemic hit.

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