North Florida Fair returns

Photo courtesy: Antonio Walcott

Local residents and college students alike are invited to experience the food, fun and games of the North Florida Fair.

Taking place daily through Sunday at the fairgrounds on Paul Russell Road, the fair has been drawing crowds every day. Starting at $8 for adults and $5 for children between the ages 6-12, hundreds of people are turning out to enjoy the prize incentivized games like the strongest man competition where contestants try their luck at hammering their way into plush prizes and souvenirs for the night.

There are also water gun races where people can test their aim at centered targets to see who can advance their stuffed figurine up the fastest against friends and strangers alike for a chance to win a prize of their choosing.

Food vendors cover the grounds with an immense selection of candied sweets such as caramel candy apples, cotton candy and kettle corn as parents weave in and out of lines for bumper cars, carousels and miniature rollercoasters designed for children seeking a rush of adrenaline.

As people wait in line near the large multi-colored ferris wheel that can be seen from South Monroe Street, music plays over a speaker nearby as people sit at picnic themed tables eating an assortment of all that the fair has to offer: funnel cakes, pizza, fried Oreos, and all the other decadently fried foods.

Danielle Woodley brought her sons Tyson and Kaden aged 4 and 3, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“I wanted them to be able to experience something traditionally fun as I’ve always gone to the fair since I was little and as of right now, they still get in for free,” Woodley said. “I have a lot of good memories of my time in school here and now I get to create new ones with them, so I look forward to this every time it comes around.”

Gabriella Aftergood, a freshman at Florida State University from Broward County, came with her friends, mainly for the food. She had just gotten off the swinging chair ride, which she described as “scary but fun.”

“I like to avoid anything that involves heights,” Aftergood said. “I only ride things like this with them because otherwise I’m against anything that leaves the ground, but I always get a false confidence boost after the ride ends so maybe I’ll be up for the next one.”

This upcoming “Freedom Friday” gates to the fair will open at noon with the midway special of $30 guaranteeing unlimited rides until closing. For more information on tickets and special event pricing go to