© Putnam County Fair Authority and respective media owners

Our Putnam County Fair history is important

 

The first Putnam County Fair was held in downtown Palatka in 1950. A group of local business people, the County Extension Agent and other local farmers and ranchers wanted to showcase their crops and animals and educate the people of the county about agriculture and its importance. This tradition continues today.

 

Each year the Putnam County Fair is held at the end of March.  During the nine day event many different activities take place.  It is the mission of the volunteer board, appointed by the County Commissioners, to provide a family friendly environment of fun while offering varying enrichment opportunities.

 

A vast array of booths, displays, competitions, and information abound.  Learning opportunities include such things as: Master Gardner’s, Bee Keepers, Historical & Educational Agricultural Village, IFAS information, Health related info, Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT), 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) projects.

 

Competitions are available to young and old. Our events include: Fine Arts Show, Home Division Competition, Bakery Contest, Horticulture Show, Beauty Pageant, Hay Bale decorating, Livestock Shows (Swine, Heifer, Steer, Rabbit, Poultry, and Goats

 

These competitions are fun and are a great time to share talents between family members and with the community.  Participants have the opportunity to win ribbons, trophies and prize money (which leads to Bragging Rights for the next year).

 

The Putnam County Fair Authority Board of Directors makes every effort to provide quality entertainment. A mix of professional and local talents is used.  This Board feels an obligation to give to the citizens of the county shows and acts that many of them would never otherwise be able to see.  As people enjoy their time at the Fair, visiting with their friends, making new ones, spending quality time with their families and learning more about their county and the people in it, they are able to do so at an affordable price.

 

Approximately 30,000 people attend the Putnam County Fair annually.  Advertising is done on a local basis.  New and better techniques have been designed over the last several years to reach out to out-of-town visitors.  It appears that our guest numbers from other areas is growing.  The midway ride and attraction company begins arriving in town several weeks early to prepare for the set up.  While in town, these employees frequent our local restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores and, on a daily basis, the gas and diesel companies.  Some of the Entertainers and vendors stay in local hotels.  It is the goal of the Fair Authority to work with and to compliment as may local businesses as possible.

 

The Putnam County Fair is a very important part of this community.  We are largely volunteer based and the success of this event is dependent on all of our community partners!

2007- New Ticket Booth constructed on the South side of the Fairgrounds at the Main Parking area;  Also, the area formerly known as "the drive-in theater" was cleared for additional parking.

2008- Two days were added to the Fair, extending it from seven to nine days

2009-Ag Village added to Fair; New large gate added to the Fairgrounds entrance; New digital billboard and signs added on the Highway.

2010- The Midway walkways are paved; Much improvement done in the parking area to enhance drainage

2014 - the Entertainment Pavilion is constructed

2015 - The former Rawson building renovation was completed in December and is now the Fairgrounds Expo Hall, a multipurpose building that is available for use year-round;

-Water & Sewer upgrades made bringing the county water to the Fairgrounds.

-Whip Cracking Contest is added to the Fair Competitions, organized and run by the Youth Advisory Committee

2016 - WiFi infrastructure is added to the grounds;

-Many of the Fair contests and exhibits are now open the St. Johns County residents

2017 - added a 4-H Dog Agility & Obedience competition to the Fair

2018- The entrance road from Old San Mateo Rd. all the way to the Midway gate is paved

2019 - The former Sipprell Livestock Building was replaced by a new, larger, open air, pavilion complete with concrete floors, efficient LED lighting; New portable livestock pens are purchased

 

Board of Directors

Putnam County Fair Authority

2020 - J.R. Newbold, III, Frank Bush, Sally Becker, Renee Hough, Robbie Scholl, Johnny Greenwood, Peggy Cone, Marshall Fulghum, Gwen Motes, Charles Herrington, Malcolm Fabre, Jay Browning, Vikki Miles, John Chastain, Kyle Hines, Dustin Caison, Tim Campbell, Cassie Nettles, April Singleton, Scott Brauman

Lifetime Honorary Members: Weezie Smith, Bill Futch, Alonzo Middleton, Austin Tilton

Past Fair Themes

 

The Indoor exhibits and vendors as well as the Hay Bale Decorating contest incorporate the annual theme into their displays for judging. 

2019  Something Old, Something New, Forever Red, White & Blue

2018  All American Flair at the Putnam County Fair

2017   Homegrown. Handmade.  Farm Fresh.

2016   Red, White & Blue, This Fair is for You!

2015   Got a Good Thing Growing

2014   The Year of the Farmer

2013  Old Fashion Fun at the Putnam County Fair

2012  Sew it, Grow it, Show it at the Putnam County Fair

2011  Southern Nights Under Midway Lights

2010  Sharing 60 years of Memories

2006 - Present    J.R. Newbold, III

2004 - 2005           Charles Smith

2002 - 2003          Bill Futch

1989 - 2001          Robert Revels

1985 - 1988          Weezie Smith

1982 - 1984          T.K. "Tim" Murray

1973 - 1981          James E "Jim" Ward

1970 - 1972          Charles Hayes

1966 - 1969          T.J. Hancock

1965                      L.L. Ridaught

1964                      T.J. Hancock

1963                      Aldrich Peoples

1962                      Frank Sapp

PCFA Presidents

PCFA Youth Advisory Committee

The Putnam County Fair Youth Advisory Committee (PCFYAC) is a body of young people from within our county striving to determine areas that can grow and/or improve at our county’s agricultural fair.  We strive to create and nurture a network between all of the community and the fair advisory board. Our role ranges from participating in discussions with the fair advisory members to collaborating with youth groups & other fairs (state and county) and growing a network of those dedicated to seeing our agricultural fair prosper.  It is our desire to bring knowledge of local agriculture to the public as well as provide a good, clean, family entertainment.

We are a group of youth passionate about bringing new projects or contests to our fair that provide a sense of community and pride.  Our ages range from 14 to 18 and we come from all corners of the county and there are representatives from all of the district’s public high schools.

Our biggest accomplishment to date has been the direct link we have to each and every livestock exhibitor through the teaching of required information at the mandatory fair meetings for large livestock exhibitors. Each year, many students ages 8-18 work on beef heifer, steer and/or swine projects.  We train and learn new information about the livestock industry and relay that information to the students in order for them to learn more about their projects and what the driving force in the industry is. 

   

It is our goal to be representatives of our county and we always welcome input from others to continuously improve the Putnam County Agricultural Fair.

2020 - QI Roberts: Clayton Brauman;  PHS: Dathan Guthrie, Kallie Johnson, Emily Lands, Téa Startz, Colby Poupore & Michael Castaing; IHS: Abby Whittington; CCHS: Kyle Gardner.  Advisors: Paula Adams & Mandy Guthrie

2019 - Brian Barfield, Clayton Brauman, Levi Dunham, Dathan Guthrie, Kallie Johnson, Emily Lands, Téa Startz, Abby Whittington.  Advisors: Paula Adams & Mandy Guthrie

2018 - Brian Barfield, Katlyn Blackmer, Clayton Brauman, Mackenzie Carle, Kallie Johnson, Emily Lands, Courtney Tillis, Abby Whittington.  Advisors: Paula Adams & Mandy Guthrie

2017 - Brian Barfield, Kassidy Brooks, Mackenzie Carle, JT Chastain, Wyatt Guthrie, Lindsey Head, Katie Lee, Jess Motes, Jennifer Mullins, Courtney Tillis.  Advisors: Paula Adams & Mandy Guthrie

2016 - Avery Brooks, Kassidy Brooks, JT Chastain, Wyatt Guthrie, Lindsey Head, Katie Lee, Jess Motes, Jennifer Mullins, Brittany Stanley, Courtney Tillis.  Advisors: Paula Adams, Sally Becker & Mandy Guthrie