The 2016 Jacksonville Fair took place November 4th-13th with preview days on November 2nd and 3rd. This year's theme, "Red, White, and You" gave the fair a patriotic feel that was fun for all customers.
Admission and ride specials, family entertainment, concerts on the main stage, as well as plenty of agriculturally based exhibits and shows kept fairgoers entertained throughout the entire fairgrounds.
Normally, admission to the Jacksonville Fair is $10 for adults, $5 for children (6-12) and seniors (65+), and children under 6 are free.
However, the Jacksonville Fair offered admission specials almost every day of the 2016 fair, allowing more affordable fun for families.
On opening preview day, November 2nd, admission was $3. Seniors got into the fair free on Friday, November 4th and Friday November 11th. For Saturday's special, The Jacksonville Fair focused on the Navy vs Notre Dame game which took place at EverBank Field in Jacksonville that day; from 10am-4pm students 17 and under as well as anyone with a Notre Dame/Navy game day ticket were admitted into the fair free.
On November 8th, the fair hosted a "Terrific Tuesday" special for their family day; one child 12 and under was admitted free with the purchase of a full price, adult admission ticket.
Friday, November 11th, the fair saluted military men, women, and their families. All military and dependents were admitted free with a valid military ID. Saturday, November 12, students ages 17 and under were again admitted free from 10am-4pm. Finally, on Sunday, November 13th, anyone with a Jaguar/Houston game day ticket got into the fair free.
This year's fair featured plenty of entertainment for fairgoers of all ages to enjoy. Every day of the fair there was a concert or show on the main stage.
Blackjack Billy, Chris Janson, Clayton Anderson, Easton Corbin, Branch & Dean, Trent Harmon, Craig Campbell, Little River Band, RaeLynn, Foghat, and DJ Eric Leffler rocked the stage throughout the 2016 fair.
Additionally, The Gathering Concert on Sunday, November 6th was a huge hit; it featured renowned gospel and Christian singers/groups.
On Saturday, November 12th, the fair hosted Dance Day, featuring amazing local dance talent all day long.
In addition to featured concerts and local acts on the stage, the fair provided plenty of family entertainment. The Firefighter Show, NoJoe's Clown Circus, Kachunga & The Alligator Show, Robinson's Racing Pigs, the CW17 Video Lounge, The Kenny Ahern Family Comedy Show, Civil Air Patrol, Florida Crops, Wine Down and Paint the Town, Kidz Science Safari, and The Butterfly Encounter were all at the 2016 Jacksonville Fair to provide customers with non-stop entertainment.
The Jacksonville Fair contracts with Belle City Amusements as their midway provider. Belle City provided a big variety of rides and games.
Additionally, Belle City and the Jacksonville Fair offered many ride specials so that families could affordably take advantage of all that Belle City Amusements had to offer.
The Ride Fanatic Wristband was available on Fridays and Saturdays of the fair; the wristband was $25 and included unlimited rides.
Monday-Thursday of the fair, wristbands for unlimited rides were available for $20; a special was run for a $10 band on Tuesday and Friday the 11th for military members and families.
On opening day, Belle City featured $3 rides and an unlimited ride wristband for $15.
Lastly, the fair and Belle City sold an advance sale Mega Pass; available before November 1st. Mega Passes could be purchased online or at local Walgreens stores; the $20 Mega Pass featured unlimited rides and gate admission for any one day of the 2016 Jacksonville Fair. The daily ride specials and variety on the midway resulted in a successful year for Belle City at the Jacksonville Fair.
4-H and FFA programs are alive and well at the Jacksonville Fair. This year, livestock competitions were lively and varied including: beef cattle, horses, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, geese, and turkeys.
Kids from the area come to the fair ever year to show their animals and reap the benefits of a year's worth of hard work and discipline.
In addition to competition, 4-H and FFA areas at the fair are also used to educate the public about agriculture. The Jacksonville Fair features "Old McDonald's Farm House" where fairgoers can watch baby chickens hatch, visit "Farmer Tom" to learn how to make rope, and talk to Scrambler the robotic egg to learn more about chickens, and a farming lifestyle in general.
The 2016 Jacksonville Fair also hosted several opportunities for domestic exhibits at the fair. They held contests in fine art, practical art, photography, Christmas crafts, needlecrafts, weaving, and many others.
The domestic exhibits and competitions provide people in the community an opportunity to directly participate in the fair.
The fair always gets lots of entries and judges are often blown away by the creativity exhibited by the community.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the Jacksonville Fair is the cooking contest sponsored by King Arthur flour. Contestants make dishes using King Arthur flour and present them to the judges for evaluation. The cooking contest draws enthusiastic participants and eager crowds.
In addition to agricultural and domestic contests, the fair holds scholarship contests for "students looking to further their education at a college, university or technical school from Duval, Nassau, St Johns, Baker, or Clay Counties."
The Jacksonville Fair scholarships have been awarded since 1955 and over $1,000,000 has been distributed to local students. The fair's Lasso Club has a big hand in contributing to the scholarships as well as providing grants to local 4-H and FFA groups. The Jacksonville Fair and its partners are devoted to investing in the community's youth and the deep, agricultural history of the fair.
The Jacksonville Fair advertises through many media channels such as radio, tv, and print. Recently, as digital media has become more popular, the Jacksonville Fair has been sure to keep up with the trend. The Jacksonville Fairgrounds has accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.
The 2016 Fair held many contests on their social media platforms, giving away VIP concert tickets, free entry to the fair, drink vouchers, and many other prizes. They used the hashtag #jaxfair to stay connected and interact with the social media community.