No Decision On New Name For Dixie Classic Fair, But Timeframe In Place

No Decision On New Name For Dixie Classic Fair, But Timeframe In Place

6:57am Sep 11, 2019
Members of the City of Winston-Salem's Community Development/Housing /General Government Committee go over proposals during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. KERI BROWN/WFDD

The debate continues over a new name for the Dixie Classic Fair. But city officials have determined when the change would go into effect.

A city council committee didn’t move forward with a resolution Tuesday to change the name of the Dixie Classic Fair to the Twin City Classic Fair. Many people at the meeting said it should have a broader scope than just city limits.

"They should look at the culture and diversity of the area," says Eunice Campbell. "There should be more than one name recommended. It needs to be something that when you hear it, it sticks, something that people will remember."

“I think that you can get people to accept the change, you just don't want to make it something that diminishes the fair," says Roger Kirkman of Winston-Salem. "It’s a jewel in our crown. People come from different counties, states and the name should represent a larger area.”

Winston-Salem City Councilman Dan Besse says they need be decisive on the timeline.

“The committee decided unanimously to recommend to the full city council that we publically say that name change will take effect with the 2020 fair, thereby removing any possibility that we are going to kick this can down the road further,” says Besse.

The full Winston-Salem City Council will vote on Monday about the 2020 timeframe.

Other members expressed concern about waiting longer to select a new name because of time that will be needed by the fair planning committee and city staff for marketing and other efforts for the annual event. The city is still working on the final cost for the rebranding.

City leaders say they’ll also revisit other name suggestions submitted in a public survey earlier this year. The committee hopes to make a recommendation to the full council sometime in October.  

The Dixie Classic name has been used since 1956. Winston-Salem City Council officially voted to change the name in August after some community members said the word Dixie evokes images of slavery and segregation. But supporters say it's not offensive and is part of Southern heritage.

This year’s Dixie Classic Fair will take place October 4-13.

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

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