Concord’s hauler parade scheduled, rain or shine

Downtown Concord’s streets will turn into a colorful procession of big trucks Thursday night as the city hosts the Haulers on Union parade.

The event is scheduled, rain or shine, according to officials with the 600 Festival.

The parade and a concert scheduled to follow marks the return of the 600 Festival to Concord. Organizers of the festival, a series of events scheduled in conjunction with NASCAR races this month at Charlotte Motor Speedway, have added events in Kannapolis, Concord and Mooresville to the annual Coca-Cola Speed Street festival in Charlotte.

“I really applaud the 600 Festival for bringing these events back to the smaller towns,” Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said. “The Concord event will be unique.”

About 40 of the tractor-trailers that haul cars for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series will take part in the parade, set for a 6 p.m. start on Union Street. The haulers will continue to nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway, in preparation for the Sprint Cup All-Star Race on Saturday night.

Padgett said fans at the parade will be given small checkered flags to wave to the passing trucks.

“Just think of the 40-plus haulers coming down Union Street,” Padgett said. “That is true Americana.”

The parade will be followed by a concert in downtown Concord by The Tams.

The Kannapolis event took place last Friday and Saturday. Mooresville will host the Little 600 go-kart race Tuesday at the GoPro Motorplex.

The NASCAR festival in uptown Charlotte will be held May 22-24.