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‘Dixie Classic Fair’ name in question, council member says some find it ‘offensive’

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Every year, thousands of people flock to the Dixie Classic Fair. Whether it is the rides, the food or the history, it continues to be an annual favorite.

However, Winston-Salem Councilman James Taylor told FOX8 that some of the people he represents find the “Dixie Classic Fair” name to be “offensive.”

Taylor said that some people are “angry” with the name and believes the city should consider changing it. He added that -- as a city that is progressive -- and is continuing to move forward, they need a name that “everyone can appreciate.”

He says his goal is to find a name that doesn’t divide the people, but instead one that unites them.

Taylor wanted to stress that he wants “to talk to the people first,” and if they don’t want to change it they won’t change it, saying that he “will do what’s best for all the people.”

So, we went out to the people ourselves to see how they feel.

“It’s just a political thing. I don’t think they named it that because of anything to do with race,” said Michael Banner, a Winston-Salem resident who said he frequents the fair. “Leave it alone. It [isn’t] bothering me going over there, so I’m all right with it.”

“It doesn’t make me any different because I’m going whether they change the name or not,” said Marion Speis, also of Winston-Salem. “Different things for different strokes, [nobody is going to] go along with everything.”

Some said that the idea of removing Confederate symbols has gone too far and made its way to the name of the fair.

“OK, take the flag, that’s OK; put it in a museum or something,” said Marjorie Claycomb, of Winston-Salem. “But they’re making too much of it.”

“I just think it’s just overkill from what’s going on right now,” said Scott Osborne, who said he regularly attends the fair. “Dixie doesn’t have anything to do with being offensive towards what anyone’s belief is.”

We continued to look for people who may be offended by the name -- but regardless of their gender, age or race -- nobody had anything negative to say about the fair or its name.

“It’s just a name. I don’t find it offensive,” said Kevin Carter, who routinely brings his family to the fair. “If they didn’t let certain people go in, but, everybody goes.”

“I thought it was ridiculous. I mean, there’s no reason to change the name of the Dixie Classic Fair,” said Dina Nelson, of Winston-Salem. “I mean, it’s a Southern name, but there is nothing racist about it.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with that name. Not at all. Not one bit,” said Reginald Cunningham, of Winston-Salem. “It’s not one of my main problems that I see needs to be solved right now.”

The Dixie Classic Fair name has been in existence since the 1950s. Last year, the city changed the name of the venue to the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.

This year’s fair is scheduled to run from Oct. 2 through Oct. 11.

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