SOUTHWEST FLORIDA &

LEE COUNTY FAIR ASSOCIATION, INC.

RULES AND POLICIES

1. First Amendment Policy 

  1. It is the policy of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. to allow free speech activity whenever said activity is not inconsistent with the normal operations or activities of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair or any event held on the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc., commonly known as the Lee Civic Center and/or Fairgrounds, or the safety of the Association’s representatives, employees, patrons, invitees, vendors, or others coming onto such grounds.   Due to the unique nature of the various events and activities at the Lee Civic Center and/or Fairgrounds, there is limited access to the grounds and buildings, necessitating creation of First Amendment Activity The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  specifically finds that the building and grounds comprising the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and Lee Civic Center are generally surrounded by parking areas under the control of the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc. , which areas become congested with numerous vehicles prior to and during the various events and activities held during the annual Fair and other events.   In addition, there are numerous water retention areas in and around the property which further limits access to the property.  The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  further finds that pedestrian traffic is generally confined to narrow walkways to and from these parking areas to the various gates at Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and Lee Civic Center and the First Amendment Activity Zone(s)  is designed to balance the interests by those engaged in First Amendment Activity with the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. ’s interest in providing reasonable and safe access to the patrons, invitees, vendors, Association representatives and employees, and others coming onto the grounds.                              
  2. The implementation of this policy is not meant to concede that the parking lots, walkways, and grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair and Lee Civic Center are public This policy seeks to apply reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions to petitioning, free speech, and other forms of expression under the First Amendment. All persons engaged in First Amendment activities on the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and Lee Civic Center are expected to comply with this policy and all other applicable policies of the Association.       
  3. Definitions:

"First Amendment Activities" are defined to mean the "conduct by a speaker which has purpose that is constitutionally protected, including the distribution and dissemination of expressive, non-commercial, material" and "petitioning," which is defined below.

"Petitioning" is defined to mean "any conduct by which a petitioner or petition signature-gatherer obtains signatures for any petition which has been duly filed."

"Commercial activity" is defined to mean "the solicitation of money or other contributions, other than political contributions, or distributing  commercial advertising or promotional material or any kind, or offering samples of items which are or will be sold, available for sale, or available in exchange for a donation or contribution, or engaging in any activity for economic gain or motive."

“Locations” or “First Amendment Activity Zone(s)”: The terms "Locations" and "First Amendment Activity Zone(s)" as used herein are defined to mean the places which the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc., has designated for the exercise of First Amendment activities on the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and the Lee Civic Center.  The location of the First Amendment Activity Zone for the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. is attached hereto and incorporated herein by this reference as Exhibit “A”.

The Southwest  Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  reserves the right to place a sign or signs in the areas adjacent to the designated First Amendment Zone stating that the activities in which the speaker is engaging are not sanctioned, condoned, or endorsed by the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc.

 

Any organization or individuals seeking to engage in First Amendment Activities shall ensure their conduct and the use of any signs, banners, or other devices do not result in injuries to patrons or property; persons engaged in First Amendment Activities shall comply with the following restrictions on time, place and manner:

 1.4  Time Restrictions for First Amendment Activities:

First Amendment activities may occur during the open hours of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair and other specific events when the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair facilities are licensed to third parties. Because of security, safety, and cost concerns, First Amendment activities are not permitted at any other times.

1.5 On-site Registration:

Organizations or individuals desiring to engage in First Amendment Activities on the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Fairgrounds and Lee Civic Center must register with the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. at least 24 hours prior to the planned First Amendment Activity. The purpose of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair registration is not to censor in any way or review discretionarily the content of the speech involved, but to allow sufficient opportunity for the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  to assign space for First Amendment Activities and to provide the participants with copies of the rules governing the use of First Amendment Activities  Registration will be granted on a first-come, first serve basis. A request for registration may be made at least 24 hours prior to the planned First Amendment Activity, but not more than 15 days prior to the planned First Amendment Activity at the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair. Interested parties should apply at the Administration Offices of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc., 11831 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers, Florida, 33917.  Information to be provided shall include:

  • The date and proposed beginning and end time of the planned event;
  • The nature of the planned activity;
  • The approximate number of persons proposed to be involved;
  • A designated contact person, including a means of communication of said person including an operable cell phone number, a physical address, and email; and

In evaluating the registration, the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  will not discriminate on the basis of content of ideas or beliefs. The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  may, however, require certain individuals or organization to maintain a reasonable distance from other individuals or organizations, if there is reasonable belief in the minds of the employees of the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair Association, Inc. that there may be conflict among or between various individuals or groups, or if groups with competing views or incompatible philosophies have requested use of the same general area on the same date and during the same hours.

A registrant may not use, in any manner, fighting words or obscenities. Within or upon the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and/or Lee Civic Center, no individual shall participate in loud, rude or unreasonable behavior; disturb the public peace; make threatening comments, actions or gestures towards others; obstruct the use and enjoyment of any facility, area or event; act in a disorderly manner; or participate in any behavior or activity which in the opinion of the Fair Manager or the Fair Manager’s designee may affect the safety or well-being of any person attending the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair or a Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc. licensed event.

  • Manner restrictions for First Amendment Activities (Non-solicitation policy):
    • A person may not advertise, canvass solicit, or disseminate written materials in any location outside of the admission gates within the entire Fairgrounds, including the parking areas, of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair, except as provided by this

 

  • An individual may register by submitting a registration form prepared by the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. The individual must submit the form to the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  at least 24 hours before beginning any advertisement, canvassing or soliciting, or dissemination of written materials but not earlier than 15 If the form is submitted on behalf of a person that is not an individual, the registration form shall identify a lead individual and may identify up to nine other individuals who will participate in advertising, canvassing, soliciting or disseminating information. For registration purposes, only the lead individual is considered registered and approved by the Fair Association, Inc.   All other members identified will become registered and approved once they are properly briefed by an authorized designee of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  on the rules for non-solicitation.

1.6.3   Registration for non-lead individuals can occur before or on the day they are scheduled to engage in advertising, canvassing, soliciting and disseminating information.

  • Each lead registrant may setup one The tabletop must be no longer than six feet. A registrant shall be present at the table at all times. The table may be set up no more than 30 minutes before the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.’s licensed event opens its admission gates for the day and must be removed no later than 30 minutes after the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association’s, Inc., licensed event closes for the night.
  • A registrant may not use a sound device, including but not limited to a bullhorn or other sound amplifying device that creates sufficient volume to be heard more than 20 feet from the
  • A registrant may not use, in any manner, fighting words or Within or upon the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and/or Lee Civic Center, no individual shall participate in loud, rude or unreasonable behavior; disturb the public peace; make threatening comments, actions or gestures towards others; obstruct the use and enjoyment of any facility, area or event; act in a disorderly manner; or participate in any behavior or activity which in the opinion of the Fair Manager or the Fair Manager’s designee may affect the safety or well-being of any person attending the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.’s licensed event.
  • A registrant may not sell or advertise any merchandise or
  • A registrant may not advertise, solicit, canvass or disseminate information to an individual in or on a motor vehicle or at any location within a parking lot.
  • A person may not advertise, canvass, solicit or disseminate written materials in any location inside Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair's or Lee Civic Center’s admission gates, or in any exhibit space assigned to an exhibitor by the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  assigns commercial exhibit spaces within an exhibit area for a Exhibitors who are assigned a commercial exhibit space are subject to the fees, conditions, rules and other information about exhibiting in a particular Exhibit Area.   
  • A registrant may not deface or place any temporary or permanent markings of any kind anywhere on the grounds for any reason and shall ensure that no third party under registrant’s control does so.
  • A registrant may not at any time engage n any criminal activity, including but not limited to dissemination of hate crime literature or information.

 

2. Prohibited Items on property

The following items shall not be brought onto on the Fairgrounds unless specifically authorized:

Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, scooters;

Unauthorized vehicles;

Weapons,  except  for  those  carried  and  concealed  pursuant  to  a  valid  concealed weapons permit, pursuant to Chapter 790, Florida Statutes;

Fireworks, explosives or explosive devices, and inflammables;

Alcohol or alcoholic beverages, or any other food or drink;

Controlled substances;

Any other object or objects which in the opinion of the Fair Manager or the Fair Manager’s designee may affect the safety and well-being of persons attending events licensed by the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc., ; or

Destructive devices.

Pets, with the exception of service animals.

Hoverboard(s)

 

3. Exceptions to the above prohibitions are limited to:

Law enforcement officials and those carried by persons authorized by law to carry them when carried in a manner authorized by law;

Prohibited items that have been permitted by the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  by virtue of a signed agreement;

Fireworks in the custody of any group operating or presenting Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair officially sanctioned fireworks display;

 

Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, scooters are not permitted on the property outside the fenced areas unless they are part of a Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  licensed event or display;

Prescription medications necessary for licensees and contractors to perform their duties, when they possess the authorizing prescriptions; and

Such prohibited items expressly permitted in writing by the Fair Manager or the Fair Manager’s designee.

4. Weapons carried pursuant to a valid concealed weapons permit.

Pursuant to Section 790.06, Florida Statutes, The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is authorized to issue licenses to carry concealed weapons or concealed firearms to qualified persons. The statute defines concealed weapons or concealed firearms as a handgun, electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie, but the term does not include a machine gun as defined in Section 790.001(9). Any person in compliance with the terms of such license may carry a concealed weapon or concealed firearm onto the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds and/or Lee Civic Center.  The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification, at all times in which the licensee is in actual possession of a concealed weapon or firearm and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer.

5. Prohibited Activities.

Pursuant to Section 616.185, Florida Statutes, entering and remaining upon any grounds or facilities owned, operated, or controlled by the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  and committing any act that disrupts the orderly conduct of any authorized activity of the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc. , or its lessees, licensees, or the general public on those grounds or facilities; or entering and remaining upon any grounds or facilities owned, operated, or controlled by the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc.  that disrupts the orderly conduct of any authorized activity of the Fair Association, Inc. , or its lessees, licensees, or the general public on those grounds or facilities; or entering and remaining upon any grounds or facilities owned, operated, or controlled by the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc.  and committing any act that disrupts the orderly conduct of any authorized activity of the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc. , or its lessees, licensees, or the general public on those grounds or facilities; constitutes trespass. A law enforcement officer may arrest any person on or off the premises, without a warrant, if the officer has probable cause for believing such person has committed the offense of trespass upon the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  Such an arrest does not render the law enforcement officer criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

Any individuals who engage in disruptive activity as described above, while on the Fairgrounds will be asked to leave the Fairgrounds property. They will also be issued trespass notices and may be subject to criminal charges, as well as civil causes of action.

6. Policy on Non-Admission of Criminal Gang Members.

The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair and events held at and upon the grounds of the Fairgrounds and Lee Civic Center is an annual family event held for the citizens of the State of Florida. Hundreds of thousands of citizens visit the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds during the Annual Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair each year to see exhibits of Florida's abundant agricultural, industrial, and social achievements. The purpose of this policy is to give notice of Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  security policies that ensure the safety, well-being and enjoyment of persons visiting the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair and all other events held at or on the Fairgrounds and Lee Civic Center.

Lee County Sheriff’s Deputies, both uniformed and plain clothed, will be on duty at the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fairgrounds during the Fair and other events. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has been provided written Association, Inc.  by the Southwest Florida & Lee County  Fair Association, Inc.  to act as its agent during the Fair.

The Florida Legislature has recognized that the State of Florida has a compelling interest in preventing criminal gang activity and has enacted Chapter 874, Florida Statutes, known as the Criminal Gang Prevention Act. The Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc. , as a public body corporate and politic of the State of Florida, has a policy that no criminal gang members be admitted to and Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association Inc.’s licensed event. 

Lee County Sheriff’s Deputies will assist Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.  representatives with the identification of known criminal gang members as they enter the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.    This will be accomplished through investigators’ personal knowledge and experience with individuals and group criminal gang members and corroborated with specific behaviors and actions of known criminal gang members, i.e., wearing gang clothing, flashing gang signs and/or attempting entry with a group (two or more) of known criminal gang members, as described in Chapter 874, Florida Statutes.

Identified criminal gang members (meeting the criteria established above) will be stopped as they attempt to enter the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc.,  advised they are not allowed to attend the licensed event, issued a trespass notice and escorted off the property.

The same process will occur if known criminal gang members are identified within the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc., and meet the standards established above.

Any individuals who engage in criminal gang activity or criminal gang-related activity as described in Chapter 874, Florida Statutes, while on the grounds of the Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair Association, Inc., Fairgrounds will be asked to leave the property. They will also be issued trespass notices and may be subject to criminal charges, as well as civil causes of action under F.S. § 874.06.

 

Every person participating in the First Amendment Activities Area must fill the form below completely and truthfully.  You can also download the Rules and Policies below if you would like a personal copy. 

 

       

 

Exhibit "A''

First Amendment Activities Zone

 

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