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Truck parade takes race cars to Darlington track

August 31, 2018
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Pee Dee NASCAR fans enjoy the 14th annual Car Hauler Parade, held at the Florence Center Thursday evening.

FLORENCE, S.C. – One of the most anticipated weekends of the year in the Pee Dee area kicked off as the 14th Annual Darlington Car Hauler Parade & Festival was held Thursday evening.

NASCAR car haulers rumbled through Florence and Darlington, making their way to the “track too tough to tame” in preparation for the races Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.

The trucks parked at the Florence Center before being driven to the track. At 7 p.m., the parade of NASCAR haulers left the Florence Center and made their 12-mile trip to RaceFest on the Darlington Square before eventually ending up the Darlington Raceway.

John Timmons, a resident of Florence, said he brings his entire family to the parade each year.

“It’s just a fun tradition,” Timmons said. “My dad brought me and I bring my kids now. It’s a lot of fun and it’s always cool for my son to see the trucks and get them to honk at him.”

In addition to the car haulers parade, the festival at the Florence Center featured bouncy castles, put-put, amusement games, vendors, food and live music from the band SidesWiped. Inside the halls of the venue, guests were able to meet different vendors and bid on silent auction items.

Nelly Evans and her husband, Daniel, said they enjoyed the atmosphere.

“We go to the race every year,” Nelly said. “Seeing the trucks and participating in all the festivities beforehand is just part of the weekend. If you don’t do it all, you’re not getting the full race weekend experience.”

“You also get to connect with people you haven’t in a while,” Daniel said. “We get to meet up with friends we haven’t seen during the summer and things like that.”

NASCAR weekend will continue with several events, including practice and qualifying on both Friday and Saturday afternoon; the NASCAR Xfinity race at 3:30 p.m. Saturday; and then the Bojangles’ Southern 500 beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday.

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