Agricultural Societies and Fairs.
Part 1. State Fair.
§ 106‑502. Land set apart.
For the purpose of the operating of a State fair, expositions and other projects which properly represent the agricultural, manufacturing, industrial and other interests of the State of North Carolina, there is hereby dedicated and set apart 200 acres of land owned by the State or any department thereof within five miles of the State Capitol, the particular acreage to be selected, set apart, and approved by the Governor and Council of the State of North Carolina. (1927, c. 209, s. 1; 1959, c. 1186, s. 1.)
§ 106‑503. Board of Agriculture to operate fair.
(a) The State fair and other projects provided for in G.S. 106‑502, shall be managed, operated and conducted by the Board of Agriculture established in G.S. 106‑502. To that end, said Board of Agriculture shall, at its first meeting after the ratification of this section, take over said State fair, together with all the lands, buildings, machinery, etc., located thereon, now belonging to said State fair and shall operate said State fair and other projects with all the authority and power conferred upon the former board of directors, and it shall make such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for the holding and conducting of said fair and other projects, and/or lease said fair properties so as to provide a State fair.
(b) The Board of Agriculture may adopt regulations establishing fees or charges for admission to the State Fairgrounds and for services provided incidental to the use of the State Fairgrounds.
(c) The Board of Agriculture, subject to the provisions of Chapter 146 of the General Statutes, may establish a schedule of rental rates for fair properties and specifications for the issuance of premiums so as to provide a State fair and other projects.
(d) The Board of Agriculture shall provide and maintain recycling bins for the collection and recycling of newspaper, aluminum cans, glass containers, and recyclable plastic beverage containers at the State Fairgrounds. (1931, c. 360, s. 3; 1959, c. 1186, s. 2; 1981, c. 495, s. 4; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1359, s. 2; 1987, c. 827, s. 34; 1991, c. 336, s. 2.)
§ 106‑503.1. Board authorized to construct and finance facilities and improvements for fair.
(a) Borrowing Money and Issuing Bonds. – For the purpose of building, enlarging and improving the facilities on the properties of the State fair, the State Board of Agriculture is hereby empowered and authorized to borrow a sum of money not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), and to issue revenue bonds therefor, payable in series at such time or times and bearing such rate of interest as may be fixed by the Governor and Council of State: Provided, that no part of the payments of the principal or interest charges on said loan shall be made out of the general revenue of the State of North Carolina, and the credit of the State of North Carolina and the State Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the agricultural fund, other than the revenue of the State fair funds, shall not be pledged either directly or indirectly for the payment of said principal or interest charges. The receipts, funds, and any other State fair assets may be pledged as security for the payment of any bonds that may be issued.
(b) Contracts and Leases; Pledge of Gate Receipts, etc. – For the further purpose of acquiring, constructing, operating and financing said properties and facilities on the North Carolina State fairgrounds, the Board of Agriculture may enter into such agreements, contracts and leases as may be necessary for the purpose of this section, and may pledge, appropriate, and pay such sums out of the gate receipts or other revenues coming to the State Board of Agriculture from the operation of any facilities of the State fair as may be required to secure, repay, or meet the principal and interest charges on the loan herein authorized. Prior to execution, the Board of Agriculture shall consult with the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations on all agreements, contracts, and leases authorized under this subsection. The preceding sentence applies only to agreements, contracts, and leases with an estimated revenue to the State of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more.
(c) Gifts and Endowments. – The State Board of Agriculture may receive gifts and endowments, whether real estate, moneys, goods or chattels, given or bestowed upon or conveyed to them for the benefit of the State fair, and the same shall be administered in accordance with the requirements of the donors. (1945, c. 1009; 1959, c. 1186, s. 3; 1997‑261, s. 109; 2001‑487, s. 71.)
§ 106‑504. Lands dedicated by State may be repossessed at will of General Assembly.
Any lands which may be dedicated and set apart under the provisions of this Article may be taken possession of and repossessed by the State of North Carolina, at the will of the General Assembly. (1927, c. 209, s. 4(a).)
Part 2. County Societies.
§ 106‑505. Incorporation; powers and term of existence.
Any number of resident persons, not less than 10, may associate together in any county, under written articles of association, subscribed by the members thereof, and specifying the object of the association to encourage and promote agriculture, domestic manufactures, and the mechanic arts, under such name and style as they may choose, subject to any other applicable provisions of law, and thereby become a body corporate with all the powers incident to such a body, and may take and hold such property, both real and personal, as may be needful to promote the objects of their association.
Whenever any such association is formed subsequent to April 1, 1949, a copy of the articles of incorporation shall be filed with the Secretary of State, together with any other information the Secretary of State may require. A fee of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be paid to the Secretary of State when such articles are filed. Upon receipt of such articles in proper form, and such other information as may be required, and the filing fee, the Secretary of State shall issue a charter of incorporation.
The corporate existence shall continue as long as there are 10 members, during the will and pleasure of the General Assembly. (1852, c. 2, ss. 1, 2, 3; R.C., c. 2, ss. 6, 7; Code, s. 2220; Rev., ss. 3868, 3869; C.S., s. 4941; 1949, c. 829, s. 2.)
§ 106‑506. Organization; officers; new members.
Such society shall be organized by the appointment of a president, two vice‑presidents, a secretary and treasurer, and such other officers as they may deem proper, who shall thereafter be chosen annually, and hold their places until others shall be appointed. And the society may from time to time, on such conditions as may be prescribed, receive other members of the corporation. (1852, c. 2, s. 3; R.C., c. 2, s. 7; Code, s. 2221; Rev., s. 3869; C.S., s. 4942.)
§ 106‑507. Exhibits exempt from State and county taxes.
Any society or association organized under the provisions of this Chapter, desiring to be exempted from the payment of State, county, and city license taxes on its exhibits, shows, attractions, and amusements, shall each year, not later than 60 days prior to the opening date of its fair, file an application with the Secretary of Revenue for a permit to operate without the payment of said tax; said application shall state the various types of exhibits and amusements for which the exemption is asked, and also the date and place they are to be exhibited. The Secretary of Revenue shall immediately refer said application to the Commissioner of Agriculture for approval or rejection. If the application is approved by said Commissioner of Agriculture, the Secretary of Revenue shall issue a permit to said society or association authorizing it to exhibit within its fairgrounds and during the period of its fair, without the payment of any State, county, or city license tax, all exhibits, shows, attractions, and amusements as were approved. Provided, however, that the Secretary of Revenue shall have the right to cancel said permit at any time upon the recommendation of said Commissioner of Agriculture. Any society or association failing to so obtain a permit from the Secretary of Revenue or having its permit canceled shall pay the same State, county, and city license taxes as may be fixed by law for all other persons or corporations exhibiting for profit within the State shows, carnivals, or other attractions. (1905, c. 513, s. 2; Rev., s. 3871; C.S., s. 4944; 1935, c. 371, s. 107; 1949, c. 829, s. 2; 1973, c. 476, s. 193.)
§ 106‑508. Funds to be used in paying premiums.
All moneys so subscribed, as well as that received from the State treasury as herein provided, shall after paying the necessary incidental expenses of such society, be annually paid for premiums awarded by such societies, in such sums and in such way and manner as they severally, under their bylaws, rules and regulations, shall direct, on such live animals, articles of production, and agricultural implements and tools, domestic manufacturers, mechanical implements, tools and productions as are of the growth and manufacture of the county or region, and also such experiments, discoveries, or attainments in scientific or practical agriculture as are made within the county or region wherein such societies are respectively organized. (1852, c. 2, s. 7; R.C., c. 2, s. 9; Code, s. 2223; Rev., s. 3873; C.S., s. 4945; 1949, c. 829, s. 2.)
§ 106‑509. Annual statements to State Treasurer.
Each agricultural society entitled to receive money from the State Treasurer shall, through its treasurer, transmit to the Treasurer of the State, in the month of December or before, a statement showing the money received from the State, the amount received from the members of the society for the preceding year, the expenditures of all such sums, and the number of the members of such society. (1852, c. 2, s. 8; R.C., c. 2, s. 10; Code, s. 2224; Rev., s. 3874; C.S., s. 4946.)
§ 106‑510. Publication of statements required.
Each agricultural society receiving money from the State under this Chapter shall, in each year, publish at its own expense a full statement of its experiments and improvements, and reports of its committees, in at least one newspaper in the State; and evidence that the requirements of this Chapter have been complied with shall be furnished to the State Treasurer before he shall pay to such society the sum of fifty dollars ($50.00) for the benefit of such society for the next year. (1852, c. 2, s. 9; R.C., c. 2, s. 11; Code, s. 2225; Rev., s. 3875; C.S., s. 4947.)
§ 106‑511. Records to be kept; may be read in evidence.
The secretary of such society shall keep a fair record of its proceedings in a book provided for that purpose, which may be read in evidence in suits wherein the corporation may be a party. (1852, c. 2, s. 5; R.C., c. 2, s. 12; Code, s. 2226; Rev., s. 3876; C.S., s. 4948.)
Part 3. Protection and Regulation of Fairs.
§ 106‑512. Lien against licensees' property to secure charge.
All agricultural fairs which shall grant any privilege, license, or concession to any person, persons, firm, or corporation for vending wares or merchandise within any fairgrounds, or which shall rent any ground space for carrying on any kind of business in such fairgrounds, either upon stipulated price or for a certain percent of the receipts taken in by such person, persons, firm, or corporation, shall have the right to retain possession of and shall have a lien upon any or all the goods, wares, fixtures, and merchandise or other property of such person, persons, firm, or corporation until all charges for privileges, licenses, or concessions are paid, or until their contract is fully complied with. (1915, c. 242, s. 1; C.S., s. 4950.)
§ 106‑513. Notice of sale to owner.
Written notice of such sale shall be served on the owner of such goods, wares, merchandise, or fixtures or other property 10 days before such sale, if he or it be a resident of the State, but if a nonresident of the State, or his or its residence be unknown, the publication of such notice for 10 days at the courthouse door and three other public places in the county shall be sufficient service of the same. (1915, c. 242, s. 2; C.S., s. 4951.)
§ 106‑514. Unlawful entry on grounds a misdemeanor.
If any person, after having been expelled from the fairgrounds of any agricultural or horticultural society, shall offer to enter the same again without permission from such society; or if any person shall break over [open] the enclosing structure of said fairgrounds and enter the same, or shall enter the enclosure of said fairgrounds by means of climbing over, under or through the enclosing structure surrounding the same, or shall enter the enclosure through the gates without the permission of its gatekeeper or the proper officer of said fair association, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1870‑1, c. 184, s. 3; Code, s. 2795; 1901, c. 291; Rev., s. 3669; C.S., s. 4952; 1993, c. 539, s. 793; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
§ 106‑515. Assisting unlawful entry on grounds a misdemeanor.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to assist any other person or persons to enter upon the grounds of any fair association when an admission fee is charged, by assisting such other person or persons to climb over or go under the fence or by pulling off a plank or to enter the enclosed grounds by any trick or device or by passing out a ticket or a pass or in any other way. Any violation of this section shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1915, c. 242, ss. 3, 4; C.S., s. 4953; 1993, c. 539, s. 794; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
§ 106‑516. Vendors and exhibitors near fairs to pay license.
Every person, firm, officer, or agent of any corporation who shall temporarily expose for sale any goods, wares, foods, soft drinks, ice cream, fruits, novelties, or any other kind of merchandise, or who shall operate any merry‑go‑round, Ferris wheel, or any other device for public amusement, within one fourth of a mile of any agricultural fair during such fair, shall pay a tax of one hundred dollars ($100.00) in each county in which he shall carry on such business, whether as a principal or agent: Provided, this section shall not apply to any business established 60 days prior to the beginning of such fair. (1915, c. 242, s. 5; C.S., s. 4954.)
§ 106‑516.1. Carnivals and similar amusements not to operate without permit.
Every person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of a carnival company or a show of like kind, including menageries, merry‑go‑rounds, Ferris wheels, riding devices, circus and similar amusements and enterprises operated and conducted for profit, shall, prior to exhibiting in any county annually staging an agricultural fair, apply to the sheriff of the county in which the exhibit is to be held for a permit to exhibit. The sheriff of the county shall issue a permit without charge; provided, however, that no permit shall be issued if he shall find the requested exhibition date is less than 30 days prior to a regularly advertised agricultural fair. Exhibition without a permit from the sheriff of the county in which the exhibition is to be held shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor: Provided, that nothing contained in this section shall prevent veterans' organizations and posts chartered by Congress or organized and operated on a statewide or nationwide basis from holding fairs or tobacco festivals on any dates which they may select if such fairs or festivals have heretofore been held as annual events. (1953, c. 854; 1963, c. 1127; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1030, s. 26; 1993, c. 539, s. 795; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2005‑435, s. 43.)
§ 106‑517. Application for license to county commissioners.
Every such person mentioned in G.S. 106‑516 shall apply in advance for a license to the board of county commissioners of the county in which he proposes to peddle, sell, or operate, and the board of county commissioners may in their discretion issue license upon the payment of the tax to the sheriff, which shall expire at the end of 12 months from its date. (1915, c. 242, s. 6; C.S., s. 4955.)
§ 106‑518. Unlicensed vending, etc., near fairs a misdemeanor.
Any person violating the provisions of G.S. 106‑516 and 106‑517 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1915, c. 242, s. 7; C.S., s. 4956; 1993, c. 539, s. 796; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
§ 106‑519. Commissioners may refuse to license shows within five miles.
The county commissioners of any county in North Carolina in which there is a regularly organized agricultural fair may refuse to allow any circus, menagerie, wild West show, dog and pony show, or carnival show, to exhibit within five miles of such fair from its beginning to its ending: Provided, that notice is given the sheriff by the commissioners of said county not to issue such license to said entertainments 60 days prior to the date of such exhibition. (1913, c. 163, s. 1; C.S., s. 4957.)
§ 106‑520. Local aid to agricultural, animal, and poultry exhibits.
Any city, town, or county may appropriate not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) to aid any agricultural, animal, or poultry exhibition held within such city, town, or county. (1919, c. 135; C.S., s. 4958.)
Part 4. Supervision of Fairs and Animal Exhibitions.
§ 106‑520.1. Definition.
As used in this Article, the word "fair" means a bona fide exhibition designed, arranged and operated to promote, encourage and improve agriculture, horticulture, livestock, poultry, dairy products, mechanical fabrics, domestic economy, and 4‑H Club and Future Farmers of America activities, by offering premiums and awards for the best exhibits thereof or with respect thereto. (1949, c. 829, s. 1.)
§ 106‑520.2. Use of "fair" in name of exhibition.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, association, club, or other group of persons to use the word "fair" in connection with any exhibition, circus, show, or other variety of exhibition unless such exhibition is a fair within the meaning of G.S. 106‑520.1. (1949, c. 829, s. 1.)
§ 106‑520.3. Commissioner of Agriculture to regulate.
The Commissioner of Agriculture, with the advice and approval of the State Board of Agriculture, is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to make rules and regulations with respect to classification, operation and licensing of fairs, so as to insure that such fairs shall conform to the definition set out in G.S. 106‑520.1, and shall best promote the purposes of fairs as set out in such definition. Every fair, and every exhibition using the word "fair" in its name, except fairs classified by the Commissioner of Agriculture as noncommercial community fairs, must comply with the standards, rules and regulations set up and promulgated by the Commissioner of Agriculture, and must secure a license from the Commissioner of Agriculture before such exhibition or fair is staged or operated. No license shall be issued for any such exhibition or fair unless it meets the standards and complies with the rules and regulations of the Commissioner of Agriculture with respect thereto. (1949, c. 829, s. 1.)
§ 106‑520.3A. Animal exhibition regulation; permit required; civil penalties.
(a) Title. – This section may be referred to as "Aedin's Law". This section provides for the regulation of animal exhibitions as they may affect the public health and safety.
(b) Definitions. – As used in this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) "Animal" means only those animals that may transmit infectious diseases.
(2) "Animal exhibition" means any sanctioned agricultural fair where animals are displayed on the exhibition grounds for physical contact with humans.
(c) Permit Required. – No animal exhibition may be operated for use by the general public unless the owner or operator has obtained an operation permit issued by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may issue an operation permit only after physical inspection of the animal exhibition and a determination that the animal exhibition meets the requirements of this section and rules adopted pursuant to this section. The Commissioner may deny, suspend, or revoke a permit on the basis that the exhibition does not comply with this section or rules adopted pursuant to this section.
(d) Rules. – For the protection of the public health and safety, the Commissioner of Agriculture, with the advice and approval of the State Board of Agriculture, and in consultation with the Division of Public Health of the Department of Health and Human Services, shall adopt rules concerning the operation of and issuance of permits for animal exhibitions. The rules shall include requirements for:
(1) Education and signage to inform the public of health and safety issues.
(2) Animal areas.
(3) Animal care and management.
(4) Transition and nonanimal areas.
(5) Hand‑washing facilities.
(6) Other requirements necessary for the protection of the public health and safety.
(e) Educational Outreach. – The Department shall continue its consultative and educational efforts to inform agricultural fair operators, exhibitors, agritourism business operators, and the general public about the health risks associated with diseases transmitted by physical contact with animals.
(f) Civil Penalty. – In addition to the denial, suspension, or revocation of an operation permit, the Commissioner may assess a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) against any person who violates a provision of this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Commissioner shall consider the degree and extent of harm caused by the violation.
The clear proceeds of civil penalties assessed pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C‑457.2.
(g) Legal Representation by Attorney General. – It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to represent the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or designate a member of the Attorney General's staff to represent the Department in all actions or proceedings in connection with this section. (2005‑191, s. 1(b).)
§ 106‑520.4. Local supervision of fairs.
No county or regional fairs shall be licensed to be held unless such fair is operated under supervision of a local board of directors who shall employ appropriate managers, who shall be responsible for the conduct of such fair, and otherwise comply with the standards, rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Agriculture. The Commissioner of Agriculture, with the advice and approval of the State Board of Agriculture, shall make rules and regulations requiring county and regional fairs to emphasize agricultural, educational, home and industrial exhibits by providing adequate premiums. (1949, c. 829, s. 1.)
§ 106‑520.5. Reports.
Every fair shall make such reports to the Commissioner of Agriculture, as said Commissioner may require. (1949, c. 829, s. 1.)
§ 106‑520.6. Premiums and premium lists supplemented.
The State Board of Agriculture may supplement premiums and premium lists for county and regional fairs and the North Carolina State Fair, and improve and expand the facilities for exhibits at the North Carolina State Fair, at any time or times, out of any funds which may be available for such purposes. (1949, c. 829, s. 1.)
§ 106‑520.7. Violations made misdemeanor.
Any person who violates any provision of G.S. 106‑520.1 through G.S. 106‑520.6 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1949, c. 829, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 797; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)