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Metal detectors in place at North Florida Fair; see how inflation impacts vendors

Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 02, 2023
  • The North Florida fair opens its gates Thursday for their 10-day event.
  • Recent inflation could play a role in the fair and affect the business.
  • Watch the video above to see the reaction from vendors and others.


"We give smiles every day, we let people eat things that they will never think of eating."

That's Kathy Ross, a vendor prepping for the 2024 North Florida Fair.

"We love this fair. It's the last one of the seasons so it's kind of the last hoorah."

Thursday, the North Florida fair opens for their 10-day event.

"We're excited to have a safe fair, we want everybody to be safe and have a great time."

A safe fair is something executive director, Mark Harvey is working to ensure.

"One of the things that we're doing that's going to have a positive impact is we're implementing the use of metal detectors for the first time."

Harvey has been in the fair business for 18 years. In recent years, inflation has been impacting how they operate.

"Inflation has hurt everybody. Insurance costs are up, security costs are up, travel costs are up; but we do what we can to hold prices down."

Another thing the two can agree on:

"Supply chain issues we've had since 2020… somethings have gotten better, some haven't. The cost of everything has gone up, but I think our customers understand that."

The Associated Press reports grocery prices moved up 0.2 percent, but food cost increases are cooling. They rose 3 percent compared with a year ago, down from double-digit increases in 2022.

I'm also taking a look at fuel costs.

The big rise in gas prices accounted for more than half of the monthly inflation increase, according to the government.

Harvey tells me ways he plans to work around those costs.

"We do the best we can with what we've got and the short period of time that we're doing it."

Like Harvey, Ross says she'll try her best to work around inflation and make sure the fair has her focus.

"We're here for people to create memories and have the time of their lives."