After careful review the NC Association Of Agricultural Fairs (NCAOAF) is happy to inform it's member fairs that there is a potential opportunity to open Agricultural fairs in 2021. The specific order that will allow fairs to open, should they meet applicable state and federal COVID safety criteria and guidelines, is Executive Order No. 204. Based on a review by our legal and political analyst for the NCAOAF the language exists to open fairs but it is the responsibility of the fairs to open following COVID safety and legal guidelines in affect at that time.
Current guidelines state no more than 50 people per room indoors and labels mass gatherings of 100 or more people outdoors. "The North Carolina Department of Justice has specifically clarified that under Executive Order No. 204, fairs and festivals may have more than 100 people attend. However, fair organizers must take measures to ensure that groups of guests do not contain more than 100 people. Each fair which operates while Executive Order No. 204 remains in effect must follow the instructions from the North Carolina Department of Justice and put in place measures to restrict each group of people within the fair to 100 or less. These measures may include traffic control methods (such as fencing, cables, or ropes), limiting seating or standing space, and signage which clearly states the requirements under the Order. Suggested language for signage may include the following:
TO COMPLY WITH EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 204, NO MORE THAN 100 GUESTS
ARE PERMITTED IN [THE __________ SECTION OF THE FAIR] [THE LINE FOR
_____________RIDE][THE VIEWING AREA FOR ___________]. WHILE TOTAL
FAIR CAPACITY MAY EXCEED 100 PERSONS, THE CURRENT PROHIBITION ON
MASS GATHERINGS RESTRICTS GROUPS OF GUESTS TO 100 PEOPLE. PLEASE
HELP US TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW AND LIMIT ALL GROUPS WITHIN THE FAIR
TO 100 PEOPLE OR LESS."
The Association is working with our NCDA advisor, Kevin Hardison, to have signs with the appropriate language made for our member fairs to display when open. Please note that food vendors at the fairs must also follow regulations under Section 3.14 of the current Restaurant guidelines. Outdoor performance venues will also be regulated by Section 3.2 of this order. We recommend working closely with your local health department and law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and compliant opening of your event.
Executive order 204 will remain in effect until April 30 unless another executive order is issued that changes that. Should that happen we will inform member fairs as soon as we have a clear understanding of how the changes apply. Please understand that this is a fluid situation and can change at anytime. If there are questions or concerns, or you need assistance with your local agencies regarding opening your event, please contact the NCAOAF so that we can assist you concerning language and interpretation of the current guidelines.