By Melissa Robinson
Nearly six years ago, Ana
Taix moved to Hampton and was totally unfamiliar with professional
racing. Fast forward to today, and Taix said she is the biggest
NASCAR fan ever, and has worked diligently over the past year to
bring a tradition she has seen over and over again in other racing
cities here to Henry County. She wanted to bring a hauler parade,
which is parade of the big trucks that carry the race cars,
equipment, racing gear and suits and just about everything a race
car driver and crew need for the big day.
So in an effort to celebrate
all that is race weekend, Taix, the city of Hampton and a team of
volunteers are hosting the city’s first ever Hauler Parade on
Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m., with a block party and presentations
in the late afternoon to kick off the event, in celebration of the
AdvoCare 500, to be held this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The parade will proceed
through downtown Hampton at 7:00 p.m., however, the festivities
begin with two plaque dedications on East Main Street at 4:45 pm.,
followed by a block party on James St. from 5 to 7 p.m. A plaque
will be presented to Ed Clark, President and General Manager of the
Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), in recognition of the racetrack’s ties
to Hampton. The second plaque will be presented to Rex White, the
1960 NASCAR champion, who now resides in Fayetteville.
There will be music and
samplings of food at the block party, and several Hampton
restaurants will offer a 15 percent discount, including SAKI, Wing
Ranch, Hong Kong Star, Sarge's Pub & Deli, and Fermentations, etc.
Those interested may pick up a discount coupon at the State Farm
Insurance tent on the day of the event.
The plaques are being made
possible through the Hampton Downtown Development Authority, the
Hampton Business and Merchants Association and Brian Brakefield
State Farm Insurance, which is also the presenting sponsor.
Initially, after meeting with
city officials and officials at AMS, Taix was given the green light
to have the parade, but was told it would cost $10,000. She said
that put the brakes on things as there was no way that she nor the
city had the money to invest. She was then told if she enlisted
enough volunteers, she wouldn’t need to pay a company the fee to
have the parade.
“We went to plan B and then
to plan C and I don’t know which plan were on now,” laughed Taix,
“But volunteers really came together for this and we have a solid
group who are seeing this through.”
Taix said she is hoping for a
big turnout for the parade from fans and anybody interested in
having a great time, and that if all goes well, the parade could
become an annual event in Hampton.
As far as the race itself,
Taix has a favorite picked for the win.
“Oh yes, Kasey Kahne. I had the chance to meet
him two years ago after I won a contest, and I follow him on
Twitter,” she said. “His eyes reminded me of one of my sons-in-law,
and it took me about three races to find who he was. I’ve been a fan