WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Earlier this week, a Winston-Salem councilman brought "Dixie" into question, because he says some people connect the word to the Confederacy. He said some voters told him that word would keep them from attending the Dixie Classic Fair.
Then a firestorm, comment after comment after comment on the WFMY News 2 Facebook page. Even a petition on Change.org supporting the word "Dixie" with more than 1,000 supporters in just one day.
And Councilman James Taylor, who brought up the idea, listened. He said Thursday the "Dixie" debate is over." But how serious was this debate in the first place?
We want to separate fact from fiction to clear up any rumors you might have heard about the "Dixie" debate.
First one, is this fact or fiction?
1) Councilman James Taylor made a proposal to remove "Dixie" from Dixie Classic Fair.
FICTION - Taylor says he brought up the idea after hearing complaints from some voters. He never made a formal proposal.
2) The Winston-Salem City Council discussed the word "Dixie" at their council meeting.
FICTION - The conversation came up during a finance committee meeting. Council met with a consultant about ways to bring more people to the fairgrounds.
3) The debate about "Dixie" was never on the council's agenda.
FACT - There have never been any official meetings or votes on this issue. Just a conversation started by Councilman Taylor.
The conversation was still enough to get thousands of people to support the word "Dixie" with a petition. Claudia Baker started the petition on Change.org. While she says she knew there was no official proposal, she said it still called for push back.
"It was the perfect time to sort of pounce on it in its infancy and hopefully not get it to the point where it was going to a vote," Baker said. "So, that was part of my point was to try to get the word out and hopefully put a stop to it before it went too far."
Councilman Taylor announced this afternoon he's ending the discussion on "Dixie." He said this in a news release from the city:
"I know some of my constituents continue to have concerns over this matter, but I've also heard from passionate supporters of the fair as it is currently named," explained Taylor. "At this time, I believe it is in the best interest of our city that I focus my attention on the details of the consultant's report suggesting how to improve the fairgrounds, and how to grow our fair into the most prosperous in the state."
Baker said she is still asking people to support the petition just in case the "Dixie" debate comes back up.