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Hampton Hauler parade rolls out Thursday
by Christine Fonville
August 26, 2014 02:32 PM | 1590 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Christine Fonville. From left, Hampton resident Jimmy Smith and Mayor Steve Hutchison stand next to Smith’s 1972 Mustang, which will be part of the car show after the Hauler Parade.
Staff / Christine Fonville. From left, Hampton resident Jimmy Smith and Mayor Steve Hutchison stand next to Smith’s 1972 Mustang, which will be part of the car show after the Hauler Parade.
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Thursday, Hampton residents and visitors can rev up for the upcoming Atlanta Motor Speedway race weekend during the city’s second Hauler Parade and Speedway Lane Hall of Fame ceremony.

The event will kick off at 6 p.m. at the city’s train depot at 20 East Main St. South, where NASCAR racing legend Bill Elliott will be this year’s inductee into the depot’s NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Ana Taix, who serves on the Main Street board and is an organizer of the event and parade, said the city would like to induct a race car driver from Georgia into the hall of fame each year.

“Last year we inducted driver Rex White and this year we will honor Bill Elliott, who will also serve as the grand marshal of the parade,” Taix said. “It’s a great way to honor legendary Georgia drivers and allow our residents to meet their favorite drivers.”

After the ceremony, the parade will being at 6:30 p.m. with about 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers leaving the speedway in formation to roll down Main Street and make their way to Highway 81.

Ted Austad, event manager for the speedway, will lead the parade in a pace car.

“The Labor Day weekend racing events are big for Henry County and all of Georgia,” he said. “The economic impact is pretty profound and for fans and residents, it’s neat to have a piece of the racing action roll into town with decorated haulers parading through the city.”

A Hauler Street Party featuring music, games, snacks, a giant hamster ball racing track, inflatables, antique cars, face painting and other activities will follow the parade and go until 9 p.m.

Taix said she first had the idea for the parade after getting hooked on watching NASCAR races on television after moving to Hampton.

“It seemed that many other cities that have race programs had a similar parade before each race, so I talked to the Main Street committee and they directed me to the city manager, who thought it was a great idea,” she said.

Although last year’s parade had a few hitches when it came to getting the haulers in the parade, Taix said about 250 people showed up and the city is expecting more attendees this year.

For more information, visit www.cityofhampton-ga.gov/events/hauler-parade/.

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