Carolina Classic Fair canceled for 2020; ‘The numbers are not trending in our favor,’ Winston-Salem mayor says

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Carolina Classic Fair, originally scheduled for Oct. 2 through 11, has been canceled, according to the City of Winston-Salem.

The city says the decision came amid a rising trend in positive coronavirus cases in Forsyth County and ongoing restrictions against mass gatherings across North Carolina.

“The city’s top priority is to ensure the public’s safety during the pandemic, and with annual attendance close to 300,000, city leaders are concerned there is no way to eliminate the risk of spreading the virus,” the city said.

As of Monday, about 1,169 people are in the hospital with the coronavirus in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 4,600 cases of the virus have been reported in Forsyth County, and the county has faced 41 deaths.

City staff predict that canceling the event means a loss of $670,000 for the year, according to the city.

“Unfortunately, the numbers are not trending in our favor,” said Mayor Allen Joines. “We will look forward to celebrating the new name of the Carolina Classic Fair and putting on a fair second to none in 2021.  We want our citizens and visitors to Forsyth County to be safe and healthy so that we can look forward to this great event next fall.”   

The 2020 fair was planned as the first year the event would be held under the Carolina Classic Fair name. It was previously named the Dixie Classic Fair, but the city changed the name over concerns about potentially racist or harmful connotations with the word “Dixie.”

Fairgrounds staff plan to look into ways to hold the fair virtually.

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