February 18, 2022
A Look Ahead and What’s New in Clay County for 2022
The new year is upon us and 2022 is already shaping up to be a busy year for residents and visitors of Clay County, Florida. From sporting events to local entertainment, local dining and the county’s largest outdoor festival where families can experience a getaway with local flavor and plenty of fun too.
Here’s a look at what’s already on tap for 2022 in Clay County, Florida
This February, the fun takes place at the Clay County Fairgrounds with the return of the Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival where visitors can enjoy Scottish music, food, dance and athletics. Also coming to Clay County in February is the Florida Peacemakers State Championship & Shootout featuring a cowboy-mounted shooting competition. Riders compete in this timed sport that combines elements of Wild West Show exhibition shooting along with the skills of barrel racing.
In March, get ready for great eats and fun as Everybody’s Favorite BBQ & Hot Sauce Festival brings its three-day event to the Orange Park Mall featuring live music and a variety of barbecue and hot sauces vendors on site.
For more delicious fun, don’t miss this 6th annual Clay County Strawberry Festival with tasty strawberry creations, including shortcakes, fudge, chocolate-covered strawberries, and so much more. Enjoy arts and crafts, free bounce houses, live entertainment, classic car show, and rock painting. Be sure to pick up some strawberries to take home too!
For history buffs, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s Rally and Swap Meet also takes place in February. Take a stroll among the antique military vehicles and witness a battle reenactment and a live weapons demonstration. Have the opportunity to learn about vehicles no longer in service while the retired military can be reunited with vehicles from their time in the service. Some of the items on display include tanks, half-tracks, Jeeps, deuces, and artillery pieces.
The Clay County Agricultural Fair returns to the Clay County Fairgrounds March 31 through April 10 with a full lineup of excitement including special events, rides, and national entertainment. Visitors can enjoy local livestock exhibitions and stroll through the popular Early Florida Village for a step back in time to the early days with live demonstrators dressed in period attire. This year’s national entertainment features a variety of genres from Nelly, Sublime, Warrant, Shenandoah, Tracy Byrd, Deana Carter, and more.
New to the fair this year are the addition of ‘quiet hours’ as a way to accommodate those with autism and special needs. Commonly known as ‘Sunflower Hours’, the fair will adhere to ‘quiet hours’ on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. With dimmer lights, little to no additional sounds, this ‘toned down’ version will allow many guests to experience the fair for the first time.
New Happenings in the Area
Also in 2022, there’s plenty of ‘new’ excitement with the opening of new businesses and attractions for visitors and residents. Here’s a look at some new happenings in the area for the upcoming year.
Cowabunga Comics has opened its doors on Walnut Street in Green Cove Springs. Featuring a variety of collectibles and comic books, collectors and hobbyists will enjoy checking out the stacks to find rare and unique books. The shop believes in supporting artists and authors with frequent book signings for fans to meet others passionate about comics.
Camp Chowenwaw Park is celebrating the opening of the new Pawpaw Nature Center open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Named after the native pawpaw plant, the center welcomes visitors and campers to explore interactive exhibits and hands-on displays to learn about the animals and habitats that make up Clay County. At the nearby pollinator garden, visitors can learn how to attract and support butterflies and other pollinators at home.
Coming to Fleming Island in 2022, the Mini Bar features hand-crafted, made-to-order miniature donuts, artisan coffee, and craft beers. A local favorite in Northeast Florida, this will serve as their first store in Clay County. Approximately a third of a size of a regular donut, the Mini Bar features 19 signature donut flavors and prides itself on always serving hot donuts in the store. A sampling of flavors includes fruity pebbles, samoa, pop tart, maple bacon, and coffee cake.
Ice cream fans are excited to welcome Northeast Florida favorite, Dreamette, to Green Cove Springs in 2022. Open since 1948 in Jacksonville, Dreamette is expanding throughout the region with this being Clay County’s second location, since opening in Middleburg in 2020. Known for its large variety of shakes, sundaes, and swirls, Dreamette is old-school with a walk-up window and cash-only sales. This new location located on Highway 17 near Governor’s Creek will be the first in the franchise to feature a drive-thru.
Ready to start planning a getaway to Clay County, Florida? Whether you choose to attend a festival, a sporting event, or soak in some history – you’re sure to make memories to last a lifetime. So, get ready and start planning to explore our small towns and big passions during your time in the area. For more information on upcoming events in Clay County, please visit www.ExploreClay.com.