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Event Success Stories - Clay County Agricultural Fair

We are so blessed to live in Florida as we have had less restrictions than other states. Tasha Hyder, General Manager from Clay County Florida Agricultural Fair, felt bad for others around the state and country on how many restrictions they had while she had very little. In 2020, she had her first virtual fair, but in 2021 she was back to normal with record attendance. In Jacksonville, there is no mask mandate or even COVID plans that she has to submit. Her event is mainly outside and people are wanting to get back out there and be apart of something fun again.

Some unique things they did during the beginning of the pandemic were Food, Fun, and Flicks. They brought in fair vendors and created a place for people to come get fair food at their location socially-distanced. They also created concerts in pods. They painted circles on the grass and people sat in pods together and were able to still attend events, but stay safe. They added more hand sanitizer stations and signage around the venue. The hardest part of the event was that the acts they had coming were not local. She had three acts cancel on her, as they did not feel comfortable traveling, so Tasha and her team had to scramble to find someone to replace them.

Some of the challenges they dealt with were unique to other areas where suppliers did not have enough golf carts and campers to accommodate her events due to shut downs of their facilities. She was still having events, but their facilities and workers were not fully back operational. They are a small staff of three people and rely on volunteers and inmate workers. This was a struggle as inmate labor was not available. Luckily volunteers were still willing to help and they were successfully able to pull off the fair with a growth of attendance of 13 percent this year.

Some of the things she learned from this year were taking a year off of working events takes a toll on your body when you start back again. Tasha said, “You really feel how tired you are after an eleven-day fair when you haven’t done it in a while. We need to appreciate events more. Our attitudes have changed in the staffing as we feel that we just need to appreciate things and not complain.”

This is very important for all of FFEA to know: "We finished our event two weeks ago in Jacksonville and our COVID numbers have not spiked. We had record attendance and people are still healthy. We are optimistic for the next year of the fair and the future of events," said Tasha.

Featured in this interview:

Clay County Agricultural Fair
2493 State Road 16 W
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

Phone: 904-284-1615

Email: info@claycountyfair.org

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