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Winston-Salem City Council votes 5 to 3 to authorize Carolina Classic Fair

Each council member gave their take on holding the fair this year before casting their vote.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem City Council held a meeting Monday to discuss a number of items including the authorization of the Carolina Classic Fair.

The board voted 5 to 3 to allow the fair to be held this year with the requirement of masks at the event.

According to the council’s agenda, city leaders were expected to discuss COVID-19 protocols for this year’s fair.

Each council member gave their take on the thought of holding the fair this year before giving their vote.

“This still boggles my mind,” Mayor Pro Tem Denise Adams said. “I’m still adamantly against this fair because of the number of cases of COVID-19 in children and the unvaccinated. Pulling the plug one more year, will not make or break this fair.”

Council member Robert Clark gave his take Monday.

“When do we start living our lives?” Clark posed as a question.

Clark said he has made the decision it’s to time to “move on with his life.”

“If we think we can survive as a society under a rock, we can’t,” he said.

Council member Jeff MacIntosh said holding the fair is a “petri dish for people to get infected.”

Council member Kevin Mundy said the desire to hold the fair is “not about economics.”

“I don’t think this is the wisest decision to make to open the fair at this time,” council member Barbara Hanes Burke said. “I think there are safer ways to get out and enjoy our lives.”

Council member Annette Scippio said the community “needs to work together to eliminate COVID-19.”

“This is not a political decision,” Scippio said. “This is about community.”

City leaders expect the fair to be held October 1-10. Last year’s fair in Winston-Salem was a drive-thru event due to COVID-19.

“Staff will ensure fairgoers receive a mask if they do not have one with them when they get there,” Mayor Allen Joines said.

Looking to go to the fair? Here's what to expect:

  • Leaders are encouraging people to gather Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for attendance.
  • Face masks will be required.
  • Officials said if you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, staff believe that for guest safety it is best to not attend the 2021 Carolina Classic Fair and increase exposure to COVID-19.
  • Tickets are strongly encouraged to be bought via website or mobile app. 
  • All admissions will be touch free when possible and indoor buildings will have one-way flow where it is allowed.

According to city leaders, the 70-acre Fairgrounds Facility will monitor how many guests are in attendance.

The fair will maintain social distancing between employees, separate ride guests by families, and place hand sanitizers at all game stations, according to the city council's agenda.

Officials said all entertainment will be outdoors.

"Should the Fairgrounds see an overwhelming attendance particularly on the midway ride area, staff reserve the right to hold gates to allow the crowd to disperse."

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