Winston-Salem, N.C. (October 11, 2021) — The Carolina Classic Fair, Winston, Salem, NC, wrapped up 10 days of fair food, rides, entertainment and competitions yesterday, proving that this regional fair is second to none.
As the first large event for the City of Winston-Salem since the pandemic, the year’s 139th fair brought 182,048 people through the gates. “Generally, the only thing that affects attendance is weather,” said Fair Director, Cheryle Hartley. “We had a heavy dose of rain this past week, so our overall attendance was down 37 percent from 2019. Interestingly, the four weekend days of the fair, when the weather was good, we were only 17 percent down, year-over-year, so weather was a major factor. We were just glad to put people back to work and to see families getting back together to enjoy the fair after a two year hiatus.”
This year’s fair featured new attractions, including Bearadise Ranch, Circus Shane, Animal Cracker Conspiracy, the Flying K9s and Robocars Entertainment. In the Grandstand, American Rappers Color Me Badd and Tag Team entertained on Monday night. Tuesday featured “Fancy Like” American Pop Country Singer, Walker Hayes, and North Carolina’s own Cooper Alan. On Wednesday, Andrew Ripp and Baylor Wilson entertained with Contemporary Christian tunes. Figure 8 Racing, Demolition Derby and the Rodeo rounded out the Grandstand roster. The Frederick’s Clock Tower stage was filled with music and dancing for Hispanic Heritage Night presented by La Ley and the Hispanic League, Gospelfest sponsored by The Chronicle, and Jazzfest.
15,786 competitive entries were received in the livestock, art, floral, food and other areas, down from 28,017 entries in 2019.
The new Carolina Classic Fair Sports Zone featured local and regional athletic teams, including Wake Forest Athletics, Winston-Salem Dash, WSSU Athletics, and the Carolina Thunderbirds.
Attendees found their favorite foods and gift items at more than 200 vendors. New delicacies were served by most food vendors, including newcomers The Blasian Asian, Ta’Nisha Monique Bakery, Stone Cold’s Espresso Bar and Emma’s Kitchen. This year’s community food booths featured mainstays that benefited charities, including the Greater Faith Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Walkertown Girls Softball Association, City Lights Ministry, Friedland Moravian, The Gracen Foundation, How Is Your Heart Project, Grands To Grown, Rising Star Baptist Church and The Butterfly Project.
The new Appalachian Mountain Brewery Beer Garden showcased a range of hoppy beverages from the Boone, NC. For the first time, beer from Foothills Brewing Company and Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing Company was sold in the Grandstand. More than 6,000 beers were consumed at the fair.
James E. Strates Shows ran the Midway, bringing 55 family friendly and heart-pumping rides to the fair.
The Fair partnered with the FanPark App to offer reserved VIP parking for 721 cars, a 246 percent increase over 2019.
Many days featured special offers and free entry for school children, veterans, seniors and special education groups. To help Crisis Control Ministries, attendees donated at least 5 non-perishable food items to gain free admission to the fair. With the help of Crisis Control Ministry volunteers, 15,191 pounds of food were donated, a 21 percent decrease from 2019.
Total merchandise sales came to more than $8,000 worth of goods. “It was the first year that you can get shirts, hats and more with the new fair logo, so people were able to take home a little piece of history ,” added Hartley.
All attendees at the fair were required to wear masks indoors and outdoors and the fair followed all required protocols to keep attendees safe from COVID-19 and other illnesses. The Forsyth Department of Public Health gave first-dose COVID-19 vaccines to more than 250 people at the fair.
Celebrating its 139th year in 2021, the Carolina Classic Fair is owned and operated by the City of Winston-Salem after being donated to the City by the Winston-Salem Foundation in 1969. For more information on the Carolina Classic Fair, please visit CarolinaClassicFair.com.