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Wilkesboro business owners expect NASCAR All-Star Race to bring in crowd

Wilkesboro business owners said they are preparing for a big turnout for this year's NASCAR All-Star Race.

WILKESBORO, N.C. — Wilkesboro is expecting a massive crowd for this year's NASCAR All-Star Race.

Business owners of Wilkes County have got their engines revving with excitement.

This will be the first NASCAR competition at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 27 years.

Local business owners expect it to be an event with one of the largest crowds this area has ever seen.

"I expect for it to be a ton of people here and I know thousands will be right here for the parade on Thursday, May 18th. So I know we are and all the other businesses are gearing up and stocking up to be able to take care of all those people," said Tasha Farrish, co-owner of Suck It Up Milkshake Co. in Downtown Wilkesboro.

Steve Williams, co-owner of Nina's Bakery and Coffee said the county has experience hosting events that draw in customers.

"We just had MerleFest last week our numbers were up quite a bit, but with the race. We're expecting our numbers to be up significantly. It's a bit scary and overwhelming, but we'll manage and it'll all come together, I think," said Williams.

North Wilkesboro Town Commissioner and downtown business owner Michael Parsons agrees huge events like Merrelfest have prepared the town for NASCAR'S triumphant return.

"Every first Saturday in October here in downtown we have the apple festival. So right here where you're standing there's likely to be 100,000 people milling around our downtown. We handle that event with ease. The Merrelfest just wrapped last weekend, a multi-day event. Probably 60-70,000 people show up to that event from around the country," Parsons said.

This event has fueled a new sense of pride across the county as well as brought NASCAR back to the place it first called home.

"I think the excitement and the thrill is going to be back like it used to be when NASCAR was here. It's going to bring a lot of the heart and soul back to Wilkes County," said Williams.

The NASCAR All-Star Race festivities are set for May 16-21.


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