Gov. DeSantis spotted as families flock to Clay County Fair

Fair kicks off Thursday; county official says this could be the most packed fair ever

News4Jax caught up with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday at the Clay County Agricultural Fair. (WJXT)

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Clay County Agricultural Fair is back after the event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fair is the first major event with full capacity crowds in Northeast Florida since the pandemic began. Masks are strongly encouraged but not required, and there are other precautions in place like sanitation stations.

One of the families who attended the fair on opening day was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his family.

“I think people are excited. We were able to go about a month ago to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, which is a big deal there. We saw this coming up. My kids love it, the first lady loves it, so we’re happy to be here. I think people will have a lot of fun,” DeSantis told News4Jax on Thursday.

“We’ve obviously had an approach we want people to be able to make decisions and do things they think are enjoyable. I think this will be real successful.”

Rick Powell was eager to get out on the first night of the fair.

“It’s a big morale booster. I think everyone needs to get out and do a little something, you know, to get away from work and get your family out and get to see some things you haven’t seen in quite some time,” Powell said.

Live music is back, too.

“We’ve been really anxious to get out and watch some concerts this year,” said Jordan Davis. “We’re super excited to see that Clay County opened up and we’re able to come out and have a good time.”

One Clay County official told News4Jax this could be the most packed fair ever, and traffic backups are expected.

Now that the Clay County Agricultural Fair is underway, there’s a traffic alert for drivers traveling on State Road 16, the two-lane road that feeds into the fairgrounds.


Fairgoers can also get a COVID-19 shot when they purchase a ticket to enter the fair. The shots will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis to those fairgoers who want them.

The vaccine is for those 40 and up until Monday, when the age requirement is lowered to 18. Teenagers ages 16 and 17 can also get the Pfizer vaccine with their parents’ permission starting Monday.

The Clay County Fair will run through April 11.

About the Authors:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.