The third annual Love Chevrolet Columbia Speedway Festival and RacersReunion will begin Thursday, April 14 and run through Saturday, April 16. This year's event will feature legendary race drivers, including Harry Gant, race cars, show cars, music, food, vendors, and even the "Miss RacersReunion Scholarship Beauty Pageant" winners.

Thursday's festivities will kick-off with a chicken bog cook-off and end with a candle light walk around the historic half-mile Columbia Speedway. Friday will include the "Maurice's BBQ Cruise-In" at 5:00 p.m. and a procession back to the race track at 6:00 p.m. for the "Lizard's Thicket Fish Fry." The "50 Years of Love Parade" will begin Saturday at 9:00 am in the K-Mart parking lot and arrive back at Historic Columbia Speedway for opening ceremonies, followed by an autograph session, vintage race car display, car show, vendors, and children's activities. Newly crowned beauty queens from "The Miss RacersReunion Scholarship Pageant" will be featured on parade float and will represent RacersReunion at local events in the Midlands.

To protect, celebrate and preserve the racing heritage of days passed has been the focus of since its inception. Educating today's youth about racing history has always been an objective. "Creating events that provide a walk down memory lane for older fans while including things that interest youth is the challenge," said Jeff Gilder, event coordinator. "We're always looking for opportunities to expose our youth to racing history in hopes some will take an interest in carrying on our preservation efforts."

There will be no charge for admission to Thursday's activities with a parking donation. Admission is $5.00 for admission to Friday and Saturday's activities. Children under 8 are admitted at no charge. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit "The Racing Legends Medical Hardship Fund." For additional information visit the Stock Car RacersReunion events calendar at

The Miss RacersReunion Scholarship Pageant
Pageant winners:

Pre Teen Miss - Hattie Grace Summers
Jr Teen Miss - Morgan Bacon
Teen Miss - Hunter Hollance
Miss - Heather Tyndall
Overall 10-25 - Megan Clark

About the Historic Columbia Speedway
The Columbia Speedway, located at 2001 Charleston Highway in Cayce, has a deep-rooted history that includes some significant firsts. A young Richard Petty ran his first race there on July 12, 1958 in a 1957 Oldsmobile convertible. He won his first ever race there a year later on July 17, 1959. Columbia Speedway became the spot of the first NASCAR race to be held under the lights when the Grand National series made its first ever stop there on Saturday night June 16, 1951. That night Studebaker got its first and only NASCAR victory when "The Rebel" Frank Mundy got to the checkers first. Chevrolet got its first NASCAR victory at Columbia Speedway when Fonty Flock drove a 1955 Chevy to victory on March 16, 1955. Other first include Buck Baker's first Grand National victory on April 12, 1952 in a 1951 Hudson. Buddy Baker ran his first ever race at this historic track on April 4, 1959 in a 1958 Chevrolet. All the stars of the sport during that era raced at Columbia. Ralph Earnhardt, Lee Petty, Curtis Turner, Tiny Lund, David Pearson, Cotton Owens, Little Bud Moore, are only a few of the greats who came to race there.