City begins plans for Southern 500 Parade
The Southern 500 race isn’t the only thing returning to Labor Day weekend this year. The Darlington Area Recreation Depart-ment, City of Darlington, and Darlington Raceway will be bringing back the Southern 500 Parade as well.
A committee of staff and volunteers met for the first time Tuesday night, March 31, to discuss ideas and to start drafting registration forms and other plans.
“We want it to be everything that people loved and remember about the old parade that we can,” said Lee Andrews, city recreation director and chair of the parade committee.
To that end, anyone with memories from the Southern 500 Parades of the past is being asked to submit them and other ideas for the parade’s return to the committee by Friday, April 17. Comments can be mailed to City Planning Department, P.O. Box 57, Darlington, SC 29540, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The nearly 2-mile parade route will begin at City Hall, 400 Pearl St., and continue down Pearl Street to the track and into the infield. Parade lineup will be decided in advance, not the day of, and will run down Edwards Avenue and turn onto West Broad Street heading southwest toward the four-way stop at Washington Street. If needed, it will continue down West Broad Street.
The parade is tentatively set for 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, though any delays in the Saturday race will impact the start time.
Race car drivers, young and old, will be invited to participate, and Darlington native and crew chief Trent Owens will serve as grand marshal of the parade. Former Miss Southern 500 Pageant winners, the Shriners, dignitaries, area high school marching bands, and others are being asked to participate.
More details and registration information will be available online at www.darlingtonSConline.com by April 30. For information about serving on the committee, call Mr. Andrews at 843-398-4030.