By: Audrey Biesk, WMBF
DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – Darlington Race weekend is officially underway in the Pee Dee. It all kicked off with the annual car hauler parade. The fun fest started at the Florence Civic Center at 4 p.m. with NASCAR hauler autograph opportunities, kids activities and live music. The haulers left from Florence and went toward Darlington.
The NASCAR haulers rode through main square in downtown Darlington for the parade before heading to Darlington Raceway to get ready for the big day. Fans lined the street waving at the big rigs. 10 year old Riley Mckenzie said she wouldn’t miss it. “Those are some pretty flashing lights, there’s the energy truck with Danica Patrick on it.”
No matter someone’s age the NASCAR hauler parade is the perfect way to get people excited for the Southern 500 weekend. “If you ever come one time, you’ll want to see it again. They plan for this every year. Just like clockwork they always make arrangements for next year it’ll be coming.”said Rod Jones.
Families agreed coming together helps keep the history of Darlington Raceway alive.
“I’ve been going since 1965, yes, 1965 and I’ve been going back whenever they had it on Labor Day. Oh yeah you talking about a crowd, it was a crowd of people back then. It means a lot to Darlington to have this Southern 500 every year it brings a lot of people to town and they spend a lot of money,” Jones said.
Ashley Mckenzie and her family come every year from Florence to the parade, “I did have my umbrella. Yeah I mean it was pouring rain before, but we said we are going anywhere, we didn’t want to miss it, we still had fun. It’s a good tradition for us, and for Darlington.”
This year’s car hauler parade marks 13 years in a row.