Clay County Fair opens with new food, rides, same family fun

Richard Nunn cuts ribbon for Opening Day for 14th year in Green Cove Springs

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The sights, sounds and smells of the Clay County Agricultural Fair are an annual tradition in Green Cove Springs -- and so is seeing Richard Nunn cut the ribbon on Opening Day.

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

The Morning Show meteorologist sliced with the scissors for the 14th year on Thursday to open the fair to the public.

After getting an early behind-the-scenes look at all the fair fun, of course.

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

She rode down what she laughingly renamed the “Richard Nunn’s Boardwalk” with Nunn on Thursday morning, cataloging all the delicious (and unusual) fair food traditions: from fried butter to just about anything on a stick.

“You know, when it comes to the fair, one of the four food groups is ‘on a stick,’” Nunn said, riding next to Hyder on mobility scooters.

The fair, which has been a tradition since 1987, opened at 2 p.m. Thursday and will run for 11 days at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Green Cove Springs.

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

“We’re so excited. We worked really hard on this lineup and we’re just really excited to share it with everyone that’s coming out,” Hyder said.

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.

On Wednesday, county officials held a news conference about the fair and asked everyone headed to the fairgrounds over the next 11 days to bring their patience -- because traffic will be heavy on State Road 16.

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

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

Cook encouraged anyone planning to attend the fair 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.

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

“It’s on my tip sheet,” she said.

About the Authors:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.

Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.