City Council Will Decide On Proposal To Remove 'Dixie' From Fair Name

City Council Will Decide On Proposal To Remove 'Dixie' From Fair Name

4:46pm Aug 13, 2019
The Dixie Classic name has been used for the fair since 1956. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Winston-Salem City Council will officially decide on whether or not to move forward with renaming the Dixie Classic Fair on Monday.

The general government committee approved sending two resolutions to the full council next week. With the first one, the city council will officially make a decision on changing the name of the fair. If it passes, Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe says staff will go through a new process to come up with a name. It’s unclear if more public input will be part of that.

The fair planning committee had asked the city to hire a consultant to help find the best option for rebranding the event. But some council members are concerned that spending money on this is a waste of time and resources. City council will have the final say on what name is selected.

The action came after a group of citizens approached city leaders about the Southern-themed name earlier this year. Some people say “Dixie Classic” evokes images of slavery and the Confederacy. But supporters say it’s not offensive and is used in well-known brand names including Dixie Cups and Dixie Crystals sugar.

More than 11,000 people participated in a public survey about the fair’s name. Overall, a majority said they wanted to keep Dixie in it. Others suggested names such as the Carolina Classic, Piedmont Regional Fair and the Foothills Festival.

The fair is owned and operated by the City of Winston-Salem. Last year’s attendance topped 325,000 people.

The Dixie name has been used for the event since 1956.

*You can follow WFDD’s Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

Support your
public radio station