WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — City officials have released a list of possible new names for the Dixie classic fair. The city says it got 11,500 comments overall and a lot of them were in favor of keeping the name the same.
Fair officials are suggesting the city hires an independent consulting agency to research new names and come up with possible options.
Winston-Salem Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe said if City Council approves bringing in a consultant at Monday night's meeting, then the name change will be a definite.
So Monday, August 19 will be a key meeting for the Dixie Classic Fair name change decision.
"What happens with this process is we'll be able to develop a name hopefully by the spring of 2020," Rowe said. "But it wouldn't be effective until the 2021 fair."
Officials say it'll be up to the consultants to narrow down a name, so it won't necessarily come from the public input list below.
A Fair Planning Committee meeting revealed the estimated cost of developing a new name for the fair will cost between $50-60,000 dollars.
It was announced in April that the city was considering a name change for the fair and Dixie would longer be in the name.
The name change proposal comes after several concerned citizens attended an April City Council meeting to voice their concerns, saying the word 'Dixie' has racist roots.
Resolution Directing City Staff to Engage a Marketing Consultant to Develop a New Name for the Dixie Classic Fair:
"At the April 2019 meeting of the Community Development/Housing/General Government Committee, a group of citizens requested that the City change the name of the Dixie Classic Fair because of its 'very segregating, separating, divisive, racist, and bifurcating name.'"
The news set off fair fans and others weighing in for and against the name change.
The comments came from online surveys, public input meetings, the citizen feedback phone line and social media.
Take a look at some of them below.
Future Timeline (Subject to Change)
August 19: The Fair Planning Committee asks City Council to approve of bringing in a consulting firm to help pick a new fair name
September: Review proposal of selected consultant by Fair Planning Committee and award contract by Public Assembly Facilities Commission
October: Selected consultant attends Dixie Classic Fair
March: Consultant narrows down/provides three potential names
April: Fair Planning Committee and Public Assembly Facilities Commission review and ranking of the three potential names
May: Mayor and City Council consider ranking of potential names and select new name
June-September: Rebranding preparations and development of marketing strategy for new name
October: Reveal new name and logo for the 2021 fair