The Winston-Salem City Council approved moving forward with the Carolina Classic Fair by a vote of 5 to 3 during Monday night's meeting. Visitors will be expected to wear masks and follow other COVID-19 safety protocols that the city put in place.

The annual event, which is scheduled for October 1-10, draws tens of thousands of people to the fairgrounds in Winston-Salem. 

City leaders say there were concerns about holding it because community vaccination levels haven't reached state and federal goals and because of the delta variant. They consulted with local health officials about case counts and hospitalizations.

City council members also reviewed the safety plan for the event.

Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe says it includes requiring guests, staff and vendors to wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors, even on rides. 

“We will have the grounds saturated with signage reinforcing the mask requirement. We will have sanitation stations all over the grounds. We will one-way directional flow in our indoor facilities,” says Rowe.

Last year's fair was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. Rowe says the city lost around $700,000 from its bottom line.

This will be the inaugural year for the Carolina Classic Fair. It was rebranded from the Dixie Classic Fair in 2019.

The Winston-Salem City Council voted to rename it due to some community members saying that the word "Dixie" evokes images of slavery and segregation.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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