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Durham Fair letter to the community


The Durham Agricultural Fair Association is aware of the ongoing discussion and petition concerning its plan to include the Elephant Encounters in the upcoming 94th year of our Fair scheduled for Sept. 26 through 29. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the Durham Agricultural Fair Association would like to thank you for your passion and belief in this community and support of the Durham Fair this year.

Public interest in this issue has made one thing clear: we all believe that the Durham Agricultural Fair is one of the largest and best Fairs in our State and that it is a unique event that commands the attention of both local and regional communities. Our 2013 Durham Fair this year will be no exception!

Since its inception in 1916, the Fair has featured animals of many kinds, including those kept for work, food production and personal enjoyment. Animal exhibition has always been, and will always remain, an integral part of our agricultural heritage and a focal point of our Fair. The Durham Fair believes the Elephant Encounters presentation has the potential to foster greater public understanding of, and appreciation for, elephants. Public understanding and appreciation of animals has always been a fundamental part of the Durham Fair.

Fair staff has determined that Elephant Encounters holds all necessary permits and licenses, and that all required health, safety and other applicable requirements will be met for its presentation. All Fair offerings are continually evaluated and monitored to insure that they are compliant with legal requirements and are safe and consistent with the Fair’s goal to offer attendees a diverse and high quality experience.

Our nonprofit Association is comprised of an all-volunteer Executive Committee and a Board of Directors who meet on a monthly basis. As required by our By-Laws, our Board of Directors is the decision-making body of our Association. After careful consideration and extensive discussion, our Executive Committee recommended to our Board of Directors that it move forward with the Elephant Encounters presentation. Our Board of Directors overwhelmingly voted last evening to support this presentation. This year’s Fair will offer the opportunity to see the Elephant Encounters presentation. Elephant rides will not be offered.

The Fair’s economic benefit to our community is substantial. It offers the area’s many nonprofits and community organizations the chance to earn money to carry on their important missions. The Fair and its Foundation fund local scholarships and protect the heritage of our agricultural community. The Fair hopes that those who may choose not to attend, or who work to prevent others from attending, will consider other ways to support these vital organizations.

We invite the public to this year’s celebration of agriculture. Come explore our many departments which include Education, Entertainment, Livestock, Personal Skills, and Plant Sciences. Coupled with our all volunteer heritage, these departments make us who we are.



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