The Carolina Classic Fair will return Oct. 1-10, after being canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Planning for the fair has already started and city officials hope that restrictions on gatherings will be relaxed enough for the fair to go on, Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe said Friday.
“It takes several months for us to plan the Carolina Classic Fair,” Rowe said.
City officials are lining up entertainers and food vendors and talking with Strates Shows Inc., which operates the midway, he said.
In July, the city canceled the 2020 fair because of the pandemic and limits on gatherings in North Carolina.
Before the pandemic, the annual fair drew about 300,000 people.
Planners don’t know what this year’s fair capacity will be, Rowe said.
City officials will monitor Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders and state health guidelines as they plan the fair, he said.
Under Cooper’s March 23 order, outdoor venues that can accommodate more than 10,000 people must provide social distancing for the attendees.
Before the last year’s fair was canceled, fairgoers would have been required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, Rowe said.
After last year’s fair was canceled, fair officials held a drive-thru fair. During that event, participants were able to buy fair food from vendors without getting out of their cars.
This year’s fair is also the first to use the fair’s new name, Carolina Classic Fair. City officials changed the name from the Dixie Classic Fair in April 2019 after critics said that the name had connotations to the Old South and slavery.
In October 2019, the Winston-Salem City Council voted 6-2 to change the event’s name to Carolina Classic Fair.