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Fair volunteer, 95, ‘going to keep on kicking as long as I can’

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 3/23/23

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – It took two minutes for Lemmie Kirkland to make her way from the back of Cattleman’s Arena to the state during Tuesday’s Clay County Agriculture Fair luncheon.

That was …

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Fair volunteer, 95, ‘going to keep on kicking as long as I can’


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – It took two minutes for Lemmie Kirkland to make her way from the back of Cattleman’s Arena to the state during Tuesday’s Clay County Agriculture Fair luncheon.

That was a pretty good pace for someone about to turn 95.

The longtime fair volunteer was honored with the first Lifetime Award for her dedication and effervescent spirit has been a big part of Early Florida Village’s success.

Kirkland has worked at the fair for “many, many, many years,” Fair Executive Director Tasha Hyder said. And she’s not ready to slow down.

“I’ll be at the Baxley House greeting people this year, too,” Kirkland said. “I’m going to be like the Energizer Bunny. I’m going to keep on kicking as long as I can.”

Kirkland not only welcomes fair-goers into the historic village, but she will also tell stories of how simple life used to be. She likes to talk about wood-burning stoves similar to what her mother and grandmother used. “People can enjoy the old-time section of the fair because it gives them an idea of how people used to live,” she said. “Sometimes I think people are astonished about how we used to live.”

Kirkland doesn’t hesitate when asked about the secret to living past her 90s. The answer is simple: stay busy.

“One time, they interviewed me over at the University of Florida on people who were living long, over 90,” she said. “What keeps me going is I don’t just sit. You prepare something every day. I plan an activity, something to do every day. I enjoy living.”

Especially at the fair.

The Clay County Agriculture Fair starts its 11-day run at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. In addition to concerts, rides and agriculture and crafts exhibits, fair-goers can explore how residents lived in the county a century ago. It’s a place where Kirkland feels at home.

“I can’t wait for this year’s fair,” she said. “And I’ll be back next year, too.”