GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Ten days of packed crowds are expected at the Clay County Fairgrounds as the fair opened its gates at 2 p.m. Thursday.
The Weather Authority meteorologist Richard Nunn was there to cut the ribbon on the 2022 fair -- and was recognized for his lifesaving efforts early Wednesday morning. Nunn stopped to put out a fiery crash and help a young man pinned inside the car until first responders could get on scene.
Weather was a big concern Thursday with a line of severe storms rolling toward the area that left two dead in the Florida Panhandle. Fair officials met Thursday morning with Emergency Operations Center officials and the National Weather Service and the decision was made that the local weather was not extreme enough to delay the 2 p.m. opening.
Nunn said The Weather Authority App on your phone will be a lifeline if you come out this weekend.
DOWNLOAD: The Weather Authority App for iPhone | The Weather Authority App for Android
“It will allow you to spend more time, try and dodge the showers, light rain, moderate rain, whatever it is detected nearby. You duck in Cattleman’s Arena and pass by -- and back on the rides,” Nunn said.
One of the fair volunteers visiting with Nunn was Felecia Hampshire who feels the fair will be a success.
“I am super excited. Listen, I am like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to the fair. I was born and raised in Green Cove Springs and the fair has always been something you look forward to every year,” said Hampshire, the Fair’s superintendent of activities.
The other issue on fairgoers’ minds is ride safety following a death at an Orlando thrill ride last week.
RELATED: State inspectors, Clay County Fair operators ensure safety of rides before opening day
Parents, like Debra Martin, said they’ve historically felt safe at the fair.
“We’ve been coming here ever since it’s been going and never had a problem,” Martin said.
The other big thing you need to remember is the traffic on State Road 16 getting to the fairgrounds. The road can have backups that last a very long time.
The fair opens at 11 a.m. each day. The later you arrive, the more likely you can expect the long backups on 16.
Friday will be the first time the Clay County Fair hosts a Latin Day. One of the organizers putting this day together explained what to expect for the event, which runs from Noon to 8 p.m.
“Two DJs, entertainment for the kids, Band Mandala would be here -- very diverse band, want to invite everybody,” said Vince Caicedo.
The fair is in town through April 10.