Come early, be ready for traffic if you’re headed to Clay County Fair

County leaders address safety, security ahead of Fair opening Thursday

Derick with North Florida Video shared this amazing sunset shot from the Clay County Fair on SnapJAX. Just gorgeous!

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Please pack your patience. That was the message from Clay County leaders ahead of Thursday’s opening of the highly popular Clay County Agricultural Fair.

During a news conference at the Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Sheriff Michelle Cook addressed one of the main issues on many minds: Traffic.

Plan to come early, Cook urged.

“I will tell you right now that traffic will be slow on (State Road) 16, but we will keep traffic moving,” Cook said.

She said more than 120,000 people will pass through the gates during the 11-day fair.

Cook said drivers not planning to go to the fair are asked to use alternate routes to SR 16 to help with traffic.

Cook said fair workers and emergency department personnel have been running through safety drills on the fair property.

“We’ve trained for everything from injuries to missing people and everything in between,” Cook said. “We are prepared when it comes to your safety and security.”

Cook encouraged anyone planning to attend the fair over the next 11 days to download the SaferWatch app if they don’t already have it.

“(It) will be our primary communications tool for important information,” Cook said.

Those updates will include traffic, weather and safety information, she said.

Cook also advised anyone coming with someone who might be considered “vulnerable,” like children, to take a picture of that person before they go into the fair.

“So that we know exactly what they’re wearing in case we have a missing person issue,” Cook said.

She also reiterated the “see something, say something” mantra.

“If you see something that makes you uncomfortable or suspicious, please notify us immediately,” Cook said. “You can do that by stopping a deputy and talking to them or you can notify us via the SaferWatch app.”

She laughed as she also advised fairgoers to ride the rides before eating the food.

“It’s on my tip sheet,” she said.

Clay County Agricultural Executive Director Tasha Hyder said the fair will feature 12 new food options and five new rides this year.

The Clay County Fair has been a tradition since 1987, striving to be the showcase for Clay County’s agricultural, educational, civic and commercial interests.

In addition to the food and midway rides, the fair features concerts, tractor pulls, pig races and more.

For more information on the fair, go to

Fair schedule

Thursday, March 30Opening Day2-11 p.m.
Friday, March 31Student Fair Day10 a.m.-12 a.m.
Saturday, April 1Clay AG Day10 a.m.-12 a.m.
Sunday, April 2Clay Health Day11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Monday, April 3Taste the Fair Day4-11 p.m.
Tuesday, April 4Our Fair Cares Day4-11 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5Senior + Inclusive Day12-11 p.m.
Thursday, April 6VyStar Family Day4-11 p.m.
Friday, April 7Fiesta Family Friday10 a.m.-12 a.m.
Saturday, April 8Celebrate Clay Day10 a.m.-12 a.m.
Sunday, April 9Hero Day11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad