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NASCAR stars turn out for street festival
HARRISBURG, NC  – Chamber of Commerce weather, outstanding attendance, popular musical acts and some of NASCAR’s top stars combined to make the 2007 Food Lion Speed Street festival a memorable occasion. An estimated crowd of 410,000 helped make the three-day motorsports themed festival one of the most popular ever.  In addition to celebrating NASCAR’s strong regional heritage, Food Lion Speed Street promotes Charlotte and the surrounding communities and generates a major economic impact for the entire region. The free festival produced an influx of energy and excitement in a tightly packed 12 block entertainment zone in Charlotte’s center city during Memorial Day weekend and has become one of the state’s biggest attractions in the month of May.

Music aficionados could choose from a virtual smorgasbord of musical acts of varying styles and genres. Country music fans were treated to the vocal styling of Joe Nichols, Sara Evans and The Wreckers as well as the instrumental talents of Diamond Rio. Rock devotees witnessed stellar performances by two legendary 80’s era bands -- Cheap Trick and Loverboy. Alternative music lovers viewed standout acts Puddle of Mudd and Better Than Ezra. R&B fans experienced soulful presentations by Tony! Toni! Toné! and After 7. Even Beach Music fans had their day in the sun with Bill Pinkney of the original Drifters, Maurice Williams of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, The Tams, Bo Shronce and the well recognized voice of the Embers, Jackie Gore.

The 2007 Food Lion Speed Street festival retained its NASCAR flair with former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champions Richard Petty, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett and Kurt Busch, who were joined by Cup standouts Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears, Kyle Petty, David Reutimann, Reed Sorenson, Elliott Sadler and J.J. Yeley.

"We are very pleased with the turnout for the 2007 Food Lion Speed Street festival,” said Jay Howard, Executive Director of the 600 Festival. “I think the combination of all the NASCAR stars, the outstanding musical acts and the great weather helped provide us with a great crowd. I think everyone in the Charlotte region should be proud of the job that this community does in hosting this festival. We are already at work trying to find ways to make it even better in 2008.”

More than 60 sponsors participated with interactive displays and product give-a-ways. Budweiser, Miller Lite and Coca-Cola served as key stage sponsors. 2007 marked the 13th consecutive year that the event has been staged in the uptown Charlotte area.

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