Sixty-two years ago a group of Jaycees saw the need to establish a permanent facility for the agriculture community to show their ware. They also believed it would be a terrific educational experience for children in grades 1 through 12. Dave Clay, Henry Bernhardt and John Fisher headed up the project along with many others.
The first location was the McCanless property on South Main Street in Salisbury. Tents served as barns, exhibit space and show arenas. The weather always played a big factor with limited facilities and no pavement, thus causing the move to its present location at 1560 Julian Road in 1957.
Ten Jaycees from Salisbury signed a bank note for $50,000 to get the project started. Dave Clay was named first Fair Manager, serving from 1954-1965. He was followed by Ligon Gillespie (1966-1972), Charles Roakes, Jr. (1973-1976), and Eric Ennis (1977-2007). John Love is currently the Fair Manager. Serving along with Mr. Love is Mickey Broadway (Exhibit Manager), Linda Spillman (Secretary/Treasurer), Tommy Motley (Grounds Manager). The Faith and Spencer Jaycees have 4 members representing the clubs on the board, they are Branson Lefler, David Kimmer, Clay Boger (President) and West Lefler representing Faith and Melissa Allen, Amanda Bowman, Henry Rouse, AJ Waller representing Spencer.
Many local fire departments and civic groups help construct the fairgrounds. Among these were Locke, Liberty and Miller Ferry Fire departments, Salisbury Optimost and Millbridge Ruritans. They manned a food booth for years to help raise a major source of their income to distribute within the community. Millbridge Ruritans are presently still active with the fairgrounds serving up the traditional Chicken & Dumplings that were started by Liberty Fire Department.
The Salisbury Jaycees started the fair association and brought the Faith and Spencer Jaycees into it. The Faith and Spencer Jaycees continue to run and organize this event using it as their main source of revenue (75%) to use to put back into the community. They continue to do this and with the help of the community and farmers of Rowan County have allowed this fair to be one of the top fairs for cattle shows in the state. Without their help we could not have a successful fair.
The Board and Jaycees do this because we care about the community and the people in it. We do this because it is “fun”. So come on out and support the Rowan County Agriculture and Industrial Fair.
The Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair’s permanent grounds are located between Interstate 85 and Old Concord Road on Julian Road, three miles south of Salisbury.
The Fair provides First Aid Station, Ambulance Service, and Restrooms — all conveniently located.
An information bureau is maintained at the main office, where information will be given cheerfully and reliably. We will be happy to have you use this service.
Admission to Grounds
The general admission is $7.00, seniors and children under 12 - $3.00, under 6 - Free; with the exception of School Days when all public school children in Rowan County are admitted FREE with special tickets along with 2 can goods or $1.
Opening and Closing
The Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair will be formally opened Monday at 4 pm, and will close Saturday at 11:30 pm. Exhibit building will be open at 4 pm and close at 10 pm. Rides operate at 5 pm Monday - Friday, and 1-11:30 pm Saturday. Livestock building will be open at 4 pm.
Rules governing entries and exhibits
1. The following rules and regulations become a part of the contract of each exhibitors, license, concessionaire, and all other persons having contractual relations with the Fair. Special rules take precedence over general rules if there is a conflict.
2. The management of the Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair reserves the right to rule on any questions not covered by these rules.
3. Disregard of any rule or misrepresentation by exhibitors or concessionaires forfeits all premiums, rights, and privileges, without recourse.
4. The Management will use diligence to insure the safety of the livestock and articles entered for exhibition after their arrival on the grounds. Under no circumstances will it be responsible for loss, injury, theft or damage by fire, lightning, wind, or any other agency, to livestock or articles on exhibit or display.
5. Exhibitors must place all exhibits under the department directors in charge.
6. Promiscuous advertising is strictly prohibited. Exhibitors may advertise and distribute from the place of exhibit only. The distribution of advertising matter that conflicts in any manner with a concession sold by the management is prohibited. Tacking of signs on building or concessions is prohibited.
7. Peddling, hawking, or selling of any kind will not be allowed in the buildings or on the grounds, except by special licenses. No begging will be allowed on the grounds.
8. Drunkenness, quarreling, or the use of profane or obscene language will not be allowed on the grounds.
9. The Fair will use every possible means to protect property, BUT WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CARS OR PARTS OF CARS, OR ARTICLES LEFT IN CARS.
10. No article for exhibit or animal will be entitled to space until proper entry has been made. Once an article has been entered for a premium it cannot be removed until Saturday 10 pm, without permission from the Manager or the designated person. Without such permission, exhibitor forfeits all claims to premiums.
11. No booth will be entered until it is completed
12. Each Department is under the special charge of the director. The directors oversee the arrangements of exhibits and have control of space assigned to them. All department directors are instructed to receive for judging one item per category. They receive all exhibits, take personal charge of them, and deliver the articles on presentation of ticket stubs at the close of the Fair.
13. All judges will be instructed to disqualify articles entered under the wrong class.
Entries and Awards
1. Competition open to Rowan County.
2. Reservation of booths and stalls must be made 2 weeks before opening day of Fair. Space is allocated in the order applications are received.
3. Reservation for booths, stalls or pens must be made directly to the Manager or Directors of the Fair.
4. ENTRY FORMS MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION Office — Agricultural Center, 2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury — IN PERSON OR BY MAIL NO LATER THAN 5 PM Friday, SEPTEMBER 5. Entry form must be entered before articles are brought to Exhibit Hall. No entry taken at any time at the Fair, unless approved in the office of the Directors. If records are altered and do not conform with those in entries on file, payment of premium will be withheld.
5. Exhibits accepted 1 pm – 4 pm Sunday, Sept. 14. Exhibitors pick up exhibitor tickets at Exhibit office upon arrival. Judging begins 9 am on Monday, unless stated otherwise.
6. All articles and livestock must be delivered to the grounds. No charge for transportation, express, freight, or drayage paid by the Fair.
7. Cattle may be exhibited from outside Rowan County.
8. No unworthy animal or exhibit will be awarded a premium.
9. Awards placed by single judge system.
10. When there is no competition in any class or exhibit in any department, no premium will be awarded unless in the opinion of the judges and directors the exhibit is sufficiently meritorious.
11. The following colors will be used for designated awards:
Champion - Royal Purple
Reserve Champion - Lavender
First Premium - Blue
Second Premium - Red
Third Premium - White
Fourth Premium - Pink
Fifth Premium - Yellow
Honorable Mention - Green
(Approx. $30,000 in premiums are offered)
1. Only ONE entry per person per category.
2. The same article cannot compete for two or more premium numbers.
3. All entries must be numbered and recorded by Department and Class, and corresponding tags placed on exhibits.
4. No person will be allowed to see the entries or have access to the entry book, until after judging.
5. Exhibitors must deliver any articles or livestock to the Fairgrounds, and to the proper care of the latter.
1. All general exhibits will be released Sunday, September 21 from 2-4 pm.
2. All exhibits are under the direct supervision of the department directors, and are on exhibit as a part of the Fair’s attractions. It is agreed by the exhibitors in making their entries that they will comply with the rules of the Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair. The department directors must see that all exhibits are in place until time for removal as designed above.
3. The Fair exhibits are secured until 4:00 pm on the Sunday following the close of the Fair.
4. Entries not picked up by Sunday, September 21 will be left unattended.
Protests and Appeals
1. Protest must be made in writing and filed with the Manager by noon of the day following award, accompanied by a protest fee of $10.00 which will be retained by the Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair, if protest is not sustained.
2. All protests will be considered at an appropriate time by the management of the Fair, and all parties interested will be notified.
3. The Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair has adopted the rules of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions governing appeals.
All passes must bear the name of person, and he or she must sign name in ink. Passes are issued only to exhibitor who must be in constant attendance to their exhibits, or as a courtesy for some service rendered the Fair for which we are unable to pay. All passes must be punched or taken at gate, and are not transferable. Passes are property of the Fair and abuse will cause rebuke.
Patrons are requested to report any discourtesies from any gateman or employee, also to make any constructive criticism or helpful suggestions toward improving any part or department of this Fair. If for any reason there is a misunderstanding about admission at gates, on passes or otherwise, please pay the regular admission asked, take a receipt, and come directly to the Manager’s Office. This will save you time and avoid unnecessary blocking of traffic at the gates.
Instructions to Department
1. Department Directors are POSITIVELY forbidden to make suggestions or interfere with judges in any way whatsoever.
2. The Department Director in charge shall attend the Judges when making the examinations in his or her respective Department, and furnish them with any desired information. Premiums will not be paid to individuals having exhibits where it is proven that they accompanied the Judges when awarding the premiums. As the awards are made, the Director will attach the ribbon indicating the award and record information.
1. Decision of judges is final and no appeal will be considered except in cases of protest/appeal in writing, with strong evidence of fraud or violation of the rules of the Fair, which may be filed with the Management. See protest/ appeals guidelines.
2. Reports must be signed by each judge in his own handwriting, but Judges may not award premiums to articles not in the regular Premium List.
3. With the permission of the Department Director, Judges may have entries re-classed which have been wrongly entered.
Stalls and Pens
1. All applications for stalls and pens must be noted on entry blanks at time of filing. Exhibitors must indicate on the blank the number of animals they will exhibit.
2. Assignments will be made by the Directors in charge.
The rules and regulations become a part of the contract of each exhibitor. The Management of the Fair reserves the right to rule on all questions not covered by these rules.