Dixie Classic Fair will get a new name, city official says

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The City of Winston-Salem is inviting the public to submit ideas for a new name for the Dixie Classic Fair, to take effect in 2020.

Suggestions can be submitted through an online survey, through the city’s citizen feedback telephone line, or at a public hearing to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Neil Bolton Home & Garden Building on the fairgrounds.

Those who present their suggestions in person at the public hearing will have one minute each to speak.

"The council is considering a name change after a number of citizens noted that the current name is offensive because it is evocative of the Civil War and the Confederacy," the city said in a Wednesday news release.

Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe told members of the Fair Planning Committee that the Winston-Salem City Council has decided the Dixie Classic Fair name must change, although Rowe acknowledged the council has taken no vote on the name change, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

History of the fair's name

The fair’s current name -- The Dixie Classic Fair of Northwest North Carolina -- dates to 1956, when it was adopted following the consolidation of the Dixie Classic Livestock Exhibition and the Winston-Salem Fair into a single event. At the time, the livestock exposition drew from throughout North Carolina as well as Virginia and West Virginia, and the fair organizers wanted a name that would reflect the fair’s broad regional reach.

Over its history the fair has been known by 11 names in total, starting in 1882 when the Wheat Fair was held in Salem. Not counting the current name, which has been in use for 63 years, the previous longest duration of a name for the fair was the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Fair, which was used for 42 years from 1908 to 1950. Other names for the fair over the years include the Winston-Salem Fair; the Winston Tobacco Fair; the Forsyth County Fair; and the Winston-Salem Horse Show, Carnival and County Fair.Over its history the fair has been known by 11 names in total, starting in 1882 when the Wheat Fair was held in Salem. Not counting the current name, which has been in use for 63 years, the previous longest duration of a name for the fair was the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Fair, which was used for 42 years from 1908 to 1950. Other names for the fair over the years include the Winston-Salem Fair; the Winston Tobacco Fair; the Forsyth County Fair; and the Winston-Salem Horse Show, Carnival and County Fair.

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