Food City Race Night returns to downtown Bristol on Wednesday with a lineup of entertainment, food sampling and appearances from a number of NASCAR drivers and others.
It’s a major switch from last August, when organizers moved Race Night to Bristol Motor Speedway after a scheduling conflict arose when NASCAR changed the date of its UNOH 200 truck series race.
“This year, we made the decision to bring it back to State Street,” Lisa Johnson, special events manager for Food City, said Monday.
Johnson said the event seemed to be “missing the community piece last year” when it was not downtown.
There are some additions to this year’s event, including a Birthplace of Country Music stage on Piedmont Avenue, a fireworks display at the end of the night and a Kids Zone, Johnson said.
Another big change — admission will be free.
Race Night runs from 1-9 p.m. Wednesday.
Music and entertainment, including Wanted Stranger, T-Minus Glory and others, will also perform on the Coke Stage, near HomeTrust Bank.
The schedule also includes free food sampling from 4-9 p.m. — while supplies last — as well as show vehicles, racing simulators and various booths and displays.
Thousands attend the annual event, which dates back to 1987, according to the Food City website.