Smaller crowds mark Carolina Classic Fair's return
Attendance at this year’s Carolina Classic Fair was down by more than a third compared to the last fair held two years ago.
The 2019 event brought in more than 290,000 fairgoers. Attendance was down this year to about 182,000 people.
But it was also a relatively wet week during this year’s run. And organizers say weather is usually the biggest determinant of attendance.
The last two years have not been routine ones for fair organizers. First, there was a name change. The fair had operated under the Dixie Classic brand for more than 60 years. City leaders ended that in 2019 over concerns the name had racist connotations.
And last year, the pandemic shut most of it down.
The fair returned this year for the first time under the new name and with mask requirements indoors and outdoors and other safety measures in place.
The Carolina Classic is the second-largest agricultural fair in North Carolina, behind only the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh.