Food City Family Race Night returning to State Street this August

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BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – One year after changing a decades old race week tradition in Bristol, Food City will move its August race night event back to State Street.

After holding the event on the Bristol Motor Speedway property last year, we’ve learned Food City plans to return the event to downtown Bristol.

Wednesday night – the Bristol, Virginia City Council could approve street closures for the event.

The race night festivity last year was moved to the track after NASCAR schedules the truck race on Thursday night after years of it being on Wednesday.

Now, Food City tells us race night is moving back to State Street, and they’re looking forward to the return.

Jana has lived in the Bristol area for about 10 years and said even before she moved to the area she knew family race night was one of the bigger events on State Street.

She works at Bloom Cafe and Listening Room on State Street. She was upset to see the event move to Bristol Motor Speedway last year.

“It was very devastating to see it kind of go away and move it to a more corporate atmosphere. But, I think it’ll be very exciting to have it back.” Jana Napier-Ribley said.

Jana was excited to hear Food City was looking to move race night back to State Street.

“Food service businesses, there’s always a bit of a boom for us, because there’s people coming and visiting,” she said.

Lynda Hooker and Bonnie Gilliam work at Manna Bagel also downtown – and are both race fans.

“From a family perspective, I just think it was a lot more community forward whenever it was on State Street,” Gilliam said.

They enjoy race night, saying it brings new opportunity.

“We get to meet new people from all over the world which is very exciting,” Hooker said.

Hooker said having the event at the speedway last year hurt business.

“I really think it hurt a lot, because everybody is used to coming down here,” she said.

Food City released a statement Wednesday night:

“We are excited about the return of Food City Family Race Night to State Street.  The downtown event has been very successful over the years and we are looking forward to returning to State Street this year.  It’s all about bringing families and the community together.”  Kevin Stafford, Vice President of Marketing, Food City.

We reached out to BMS for a comment on this story, but have not yet gotten that response.

Race night is schedule to take place August 14.

We’ll have Bristol, Virginia city leader’s decision on road closures for the event on News Channel 11 at 11.

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