GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
AN ACT TO ADOPT THE HERTFORD COUNTY WATERMELON FESTIVAL AND THE FAIR BLUFF WATERMELON FESTIVAL AS THE OFFICIAL NORTH CAROLINA WATERMELON FESTIVALS.
Whereas, watermelon farming has been a successful vocation of many farmers in eastern North Carolina, especially the Counties of Columbus and Hertford, for generations; and
Whereas, the watermelon industry has been and continues to be an important part of the State's economy; and
Whereas, there are as many as 700 to 1,000 acres of watermelons grown in northeastern North Carolina each year and as many as 1,500 acres of watermelons grown in southeastern North Carolina each year; and
Whereas, the Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival in Columbus County held since 1980, and the Hertford County Watermelon Festival held since 1986, are two very popular watermelon festivals held annually in North Carolina; and
Whereas, the Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival is held in mid-July for four to five days and the Hertford County Watermelon Festival is held in early August for four days; and
Whereas, both festivals have attracted at least 12,000 visitors; and
Whereas, the festivals provide participants of all ages with a wide variety of entertainment including parades, amusement rides, historic tours, dances, and contests; and
Whereas, the festivals allow local crafters and vendors the chance to promote their goods to a large number of people; and
Whereas, adopting the Hertford County Watermelon Festival and the Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival as the official North Carolina Watermelon Festivals will help to promote agriculture, tourism, and economic growth, and the exchange of cultural ideas; Now, therefore,
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
Section 1. Chapter 145 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 145-16. State Watermelon Festivals.
(a) The Hertford County Watermelon Festival is adopted as the official Northeastern North Carolina Watermelon Festival. The Hertford County Watermelon Festival shall be observed annually during the last four days of the first week in August.
(b) The Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival in Columbus County is adopted as the official Southeastern North Carolina Watermelon Festival. The Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival shall be observed annually during mid-July.
(c) Nothing in this act shall be construed to obligate the General Assembly to appropriate funds to implement the provisions of this act.
(d) Nothing in this act shall be construed to obligate Hertford County or Columbus County to expend funds for the purposes of this act."
Sec. 2. The title of Chapter 145 reads as rewritten:
"State Flower, Bird, Tree, Shell, Mammal, Fish, Insect,
Stone, Reptile and Rock, Beverage, Historical Boat, Language, Dog, Military Academy,
and Tartan. Tartan, and Watermelon Festival."
Sec. 3. This act is effective upon ratification.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 24th day of June, 1993.
Dennis A. Wicker
President of the Senate
Daniel Blue, Jr.
Speaker of the House of Representatives