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Carolina Classic Fair scheduled to go on, if officials allow it, organizers say. Pop-up drive-in theater will be gone by time fair opens.

Carolina Classic Fair scheduled to go on, if officials allow it, organizers say. Pop-up drive-in theater will be gone by time fair opens.

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The Wave Swinger at the 2019 Dixie Classic Fair on Oct. 10, 2019, in Winston-Salem. The fair has been renamed the Carolina Classic. Ahead of this year’s fair, the midway will house a pop-up drive-in theater.

Winston-Salem — The midway at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds is being converted to a pop-up drive-in movie theater, but plans are still moving ahead for this fall’s fair.

The Carolina Classic Fair, the renamed version of the Dixie Classic Fair, “is still on schedule at this point,” said Siobhan Olson, a spokeswoman for the fair, “but we are subject to restrictions that may be imposed by the governor or city. Like everyone else, we’re rolling with the times.”

The fair is scheduled for Oct. 2-11.

It is too soon to know what phase North Carolina’s reopening of the economy might be in at that time as it continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and what restrictions might be in effect.

“Other than a name change, people can expect wonderful entertainment, great food, fun rides, toe-tapping music, new things to discover and more,” Olson said. “It will be the fair they have always loved.”

Gone by Sept. 12

The pop-up drive-in theater, The Drive at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, is being set up so it can come down Sept. 12 ahead of the Carolina Classic, said Chris King of High Point, the owner of Focus Event Group, a production company that specializes in health and safety solutions for large group events.

The company is renting the midway and will employ 20 to 30 people, including fairgrounds staff who will handle concessions, operations and security.

Moving out by mid-September will give the fairgrounds enough time to restore the midway for the fair, King said.

The drive-in was set up on the midway Wednesday, with screens on each side of three stacked shipping containers, allowing two movies to be shown at the same time to separate audiences in the north and south lots. Temporary paint will mark parking spaces that are at least 6 feet apart for social distancing. Concessions will be delivered to vehicles, and tickets will be handled digitally.

The Drive is scheduled to open Tuesday with “Sonic the Hedgehog” on one screen and “Knives Out” on the other.

Tim Clodfelter is a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal.

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