The Speed Street 600 Festival, presented by Food Lion, takes place in Uptown Charlotte for three days prior to NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 (which takes place at Charlotte Motor Speedway). 2014 will be the 20th edition of the festival, and it gets bigger each year. For this one weekend, Charlotte's buttoned-down Uptown area become one of the Southeast's biggest festivals, featuring live music, interactive exhibits, food, activities, interactive exhibits, appearances by NASCAR drivers and other celebrities, and of course, cars. And the best part? It's all free. Speed Street has been named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.
And since it's 600 week, and you're probably in a "racing" mood, did you that most NASCAR teams are based in Charlotte? You can tour many of them. Find out more about the NASCAR teams in Charlotte. Also, if you're Uptown for the festival, you're near the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Never been? Check out a photo gallery of some highlights of the museum.
2014 Speed Street Dates and Hours
Thursday, May 22 to Saturday, May 25
Noon to 11 p.m. each day.
2014 Coca-Cola Stage Schedule
The chance to meet some of the hottest NASCAR stars is always a highlight of Speed Street for many visitors. This year is bigger than ever, with dozens of current and future stars available for autographs and photos. Click here for a full list of driver appearances.
For those who work Uptown, or if you're traveling through the Center City area during Speed Street, here are some hints from city officials:
- Uptown area workers should arrive early and leave early, if possible. Several streets will be opened each morning until 9:30, giving commuters a chance to reach their parking decks or lots.
- Use the exit of the Brookshire Freeway or John Belk Freeway closest to your work or parking.
- If you're traveling east-west, use Trade, Fifth or Sixth streets.
From music to sports to arts to culture, there are always plenty of festivals happening around town. Click here for a month by month calendar of festivals in Charlotte. Know of a festival we don't have listed? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.