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600 Festival to expand Carolinas footprint

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/27/19/54/jgfUk.Em.138.jpeg|251
    Abbi O'Leary - aoleary@charlotteobserver.com
    Mayor Scott Padgett of Concord, Coca-Cola Consolidated senior vice president of corporate affairs, Lauren Steele, Mayor Darrell Hinnant of Kannapolis, 600 Festival chairman, Jim Banbury, Katelin Longbrake of GoPro Motorplex, and 600 Festival president, Jay Howard, left to right, blow out candles on a cake celebrating the 600 Festival Association's 30th anniversary at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 27, 2014. The 600 Festival Association announced three new upcoming events to be held in May that will celebrate and promote motor sports throughout the month.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/27/19/49/1cgM3y.Em.138.jpeg|227
    Abbi O'Leary - aoleary@charlotteobserver.com
    Mayor Darrell Hinnant of the City of Kannapolis, middle, celebrates the 600 Festival Association's 30th anniversary with Lauren Steele, left, Jim Banbury, right, and Leah Mitchan, far right with a cake brought out by the Speedway's mascot, Lug Nut, during a press conference at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 27, 2014. The 600 Festival Association announced three new upcoming events to be held in May that will celebrate and promote motor sports throughout the month.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/27/19/54/E5GIw.Em.138.jpeg|254
    Abbi O'Leary - aoleary@charlotteobserver.com
    Mayor Scott Padgett of Concord speaks about upcoming events that the 600 Festival Association will hold in May in Cabarrus and Iredell counties that will celebrate and promote motor sports throughout the month at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 27, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/27/19/49/15cnFf.Em.138.jpeg|241
    Abbi O'Leary - aoleary@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlotte Motor Speedway's mascot, Lug Nut, brings in a cake to celebrate the 600 Festival Association's 30th anniversary during a press conference at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 27, 2014. The 600 Festival Association announced three new upcoming events to be held in May that will celebrate and promote motor sports throughout the month.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/03/27/19/55/17yvbx.Em.138.jpeg|210
    Abbi O'Leary - aoleary@charlotteobserver.com
    Jacqueline Gafrarar, 600 Festival Association general manager, speaks about upcoming events that the 600 Festival Association will hold in May in Cabarrus and Iredell counties that will celebrate and promote motor sports throughout the month at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 27, 2014.

More Information

  • Speed Street announces headliners, new name
  • 600 Festival events

    May 9-10: Village Jiggy Jam, in downtown Kannapolis. Two movies, “Planes” and “Six Pack,” will be shown outdoors May 9. Events also will include a barbecue cookoff, pancake breakfast, road race and concert by the Catalinas.

    May 15: Haulers on Union parade, 6 p.m. on Union Street in downtown Concord. Concert by the Tams follows.

    May 20: Little 600 Race, 4 p.m. at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville.

    May 22-24: Coca-Cola Speed Street, in uptown Charlotte. Hours are noon-11 p.m. daily. Featured acts include Thompson Square on May 23 and 38 Special on May 24.

    For details about the festival, check www.600festival.com or check Facebook (600 Festival Association) or Twitter (@600festival).



The Charlotte region’s three-week racing-themed celebration in May will have a wider footprint.

Charlotte Motor Speedway and 600 Festival officials said Thursday that the 30th version of the festival will spread into three new cities with special events in mid-May.

And Speed Street, Charlotte’s three-day uptown party on Coca-Cola 600 race weekend, will have a new sponsor in its 20th year. Coca-Cola is replacing Food Lion, which had sponsored Speed Street for several years.

“These new events will take us back to the core purpose of the festival,” Jay Howard, president of the 600 Festival Association, said during a news conference at the speedway.

The new events will be the Village Jiggy Jam on May 9-10 in Kannapolis; the Haulers on Union parade and concert May 15 in Concord; and the Little 600 Race on May 20 at the GoPro Motorplex kart track in Mooresville.

“Those three towns, combined with Charlotte, are where the sport (NASCAR) really lives,” Howard said.

Of course, all of the events are built around races May 16, 17, 24 and 25, along with other racing-related events on other dates those two weeks.

The Village Jiggy Jam in Kannapolis will feature outdoor movies, a barbecue cook-off, pancake breakfast, road race and concert.

Haulers on Union will be a parade of more than 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers on Union Street in downtown Concord.

And the Little 600 Race in Mooresville actually will feature a race for NASCAR wives and girlfriends, followed by a go-kart race featuring NASCAR drivers.

Howard said the 600 Festival, in its early days, featured a number of events in the smaller cities around Charlotte. Those disappeared in recent years, but Howard said city and business officials in Concord, Kannapolis and Mooresville have been instrumental in reviving the festival in those towns.

“It works so much better when you have community involvement, and we have it this year,” he said.

Charlotte’s event, Coca-Cola Speed Street, will take place May 22-24. Once again, South Tryon Street and the area around the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be closed to traffic and opened to partygoers.

“No other street festival has people coming back year after year like Speed Street,” said Lauren Steele, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Coca-Cola Consolidated.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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