Navigating Circle K Speed Street: What to eat, see and do

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Speed Street transform the streets of uptown Charlotte into one of the largest events during the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race, with live musical entertainment and family fun activities. CharlotteFive archives

Memorial day weekend is upon us and, as is tradition, that means Speed Street returns to Uptown before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 race. The Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will take place from Thursday, May 23 to Saturday, May 25, stretching down Tryon Street and even spilling into Romare Bearden Park.

This year is the 25thanniversary of Speed Street, a street festival famous for food, epic people watching, NASCAR driver spotting and music. Whether you work Uptown and want to venture out to join in on the fun, or you plan to come in during the evenings for food and a concert, here are some of the ‘musts’ for the week.

Eat 

Courtesy of King of Pops Charlotte

Calories don’t count at Speed Street. Although you may be craving a funnel cake or a corn dog, there are other food options available for all palates and preferences. 

Vendors located on Tryon Street (between Trade and Fourth streets) include:
Gus’ Greek Food
Tropical Island Concessions
Steak Boys #1
D&J Concessions
Mac Brands Foods, Inc.
JJ Ice Cream / Mister Softee
White Castle

Vendors located on Tryon Street (between MLK Jr. BLVD and Levine Avenue of the Arts) include:
Hobie Pop Kettle Corn
Coco Crissi

Vendors located on Tryon Street (near the Kid’s Zone between Levine Avenue of the Arts and Stonewall Street):
Kona Ice
Raz’s Pretzels / Auntie Anne’s

Vendor at Romare Bearden Park:
King of Pops

See

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One of the draws of Speed Street has been seeing a concert and seeing your favorite driver, or just a driver, depending on how closely you follow the sport.

Although music and concerts will be going on all day, the main ticket concerts will kick off each night at 6:30 p.m. in Romare Bearden Park. The concerts on Thursday, May 23, are free, but you need to pick up your tickets ahead of time at any local Circle K location. The concerts on Friday and Saturday are $20 for advance tickets and $25 the day of the show. 

Thursday, May 23:
6:30 p.m. — Kameron Marlowe
7:30 p.m. — Abby Anderson
8:45 p.m. — Corey Smith

Friday, May 24:
6:30 p.m. — Caylee Hammack
8 p.m. — Tyler Rich
9:45 p.m. — Brothers Osborne

Saturday, May 25:
6:30 p.m. — Charity Case
7:45 p.m. — Sugarcreek
9:45 p.m. — STYX

If the concerts aren’t your thing, you can meet some drivers, like fan favorites Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Bubba Wallace. They will be hanging out with other drivers at the Circle K Autograph Zone, located at Tryon and Third streets.

Do

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If you’re coming in with little ones, the Kid’s Zone will have bouncy houses and other activities to keep the little ones entertained. If you’re a big kid and want to do things other than eat, get autographs and listen to music, there will be other activities to keep you occupied.

Challenge your friends and compete to see who can change tires on a racecar the fastest at the annual Tire Change Challenge located at the Circle K Autograph Zone. Qualify on Thursday and Friday for the big challenge on Saturday. Compete against your friends, and then compete against the pros.

You can also head to the Circle K Take it Easy Tailgate area and play cornhole, basketball or go bowling. 

For a full list of events, concerts and locations, click here for the schedule. 

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