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Fair & Fairgrounds History

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.

More than 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!

HISTORY Timeline

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 - a 70' x 70' Entertainment Pavilion is constructed
- Youth Advisory Committee is organized
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 are 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, 75' x 135', open air, pavilion complete with concrete floors, efficient LED lighting; New modular livestock pens are purchased
2020 - Fair Cancelled due to Covid-19 Quarantine
2021 - Fair Resumes
- Added American Heifer Show
2022 - Upgraded to Digital Ticketing System, Paved walkways courtesy of FL Trucking & Paving into Maltby Bldg, Kitchen, Poultry Barn and Tilton Arena, added a Rodeo Event

2023-New Electrical services and county water added to Livestock and Vendor campsites. Upgraded Kitchen and Bathrooms in Expo Hall, Rest/Play area for little ones and their parents, Seating area for enjoying fair food, Self-watering Swine stalls donated by the DeLoach Family, Added Best Carcass Award, Added Best Decorated Egg Contest
2024-New metal roof installed on the Maltby Bldg, Titlon Arena has a brand new sound system, Ag Village got a new home under the trees and structural improvements, Rosaire's Racing Pigs added to the entertainment schedule, Humongous Fans and shade screens installed for Rabbits, Swine and Tilton Arena, Military Appreciation Day has been added to our Monday schedule, electrical upgrades on our food vendor row, landscaping at the main entrance and the restrooms

PCFA Presidents

  • 2023-Present Malcolm Fabre
  • 2006 - 2023 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

Past Fair Themes

2025 TBA 75th Diamond Anniversary
2024 Country Pride-County Wide
2023 Country Fans & Cattle Brands
2022 Laughter, Lights and Fun Nights
2021 Time to Shine, It's finally Fair Time!
2020 70 years of Fair Nights and Carnival Lights
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

PCFA Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)

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.

PCFA YAC Members



QI Roberts: Issac Harper, Cayden Ferguson; PHS: Allison Tillis, Kaitlyn Sanders, Rileigh Stout, Laycee Wilson; IHS: Jackson Barnes, Emma Mills, Makayla Serrano, Hayden George

2022 - QI Roberts: Breawna Smith, Isaac Harper; PHS: Allie Tillis, Kaitlyn Sanders, Josie Pogue; IHS: Jackson Barnes, Emma Mills; CCHS: Reagan Grimes. Advisors: Christy Brauman & Mackenzie Carle

2021 - QI Roberts: Clayton Brauman, Breawna Smith; PHS: Dathan Guthrie, Kallie Johnson, Emily Lands, Téa Startz, Colby Poupore, Allie Tillis; IHS: Abby Whittington, Jackson Barnes; CCHS: Reagan Grimes, Kyle Grimes. Advisors: Christy Brauman & Mackenzie Carle

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
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