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Hauler parade rolls through Hampton Aug. 29


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor  

  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 ever since.”



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