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Whitmoyer

Charlotte Auto Fair - Anybody going ?

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I realize we're getting close to "Hershey Time" but my brother and I thought we'd squeeze in a week at the Charlotte Auto Fair in September. Never been there, was hoping someone could provide a few insights to make the most of this event. We are from Pennsylvania, so any recommendations for hotel, travel, weather, and most importantly - restaurants would be appreciated. Thanks in advance !

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If you know Hershey, you’ll do fine at the Autofair.

Get there early in the day! Traffic can be slow later in the day. (There is a mall across I-85 from the Speedway.) There is plenty of parking all around the Speedway but you have to pay. The closest is right in front of the main entrance on Hwy 29. There are walkways across 29.

This is a big event physically. It covers the whole track, the whole infield (orange and blue fields), much of the speedway buidings (the auction and some of the clubs) and (in September) part of the green field back of the Speedway. (The spring Autofair is even larger.) In other words, plan on walking.

Make sure you get one of the programs when you first come in. It has maps, a list of vendors and their locations, and a list of events during Autofair. If you are having trouble finding something, ask one of the HNR people. We'll all have on a yellow cap or a hat with a yellow band. If all else fails, find Coker Tire (in the middle of the infield) and right across from it is a big yellow and white HNR tent.

The car corral changes every day and several times a day as vendors sell cars. I usually check it twice a day. The various clubs (usually 25 or more) will be there on Saturday and some of them Sunday. The HNR region show is on Saturday.

Hotels: My best hint is to remember that the Speedway is north of Charlotte in Concord, so unless you want to ride in Charlotte construction traffic, stay north of Charlotte. Our region uses the Embassy Suites for a host hotel, but there are plenty of chain hotels near the Speedway.

Travel: The majority opinion of those of us who go to Hershey from Charlotte would be I-81 to I-77 to I-85 exit 49 (Concord Mills Blvd and Bruton Smith Blvd).The Speedway is on Concord Parkway (Hwy 29).

Weather: Right now, the forecast is for sunny weather. Keep your fingers crossed! But come prepared for both bright sunshine and rain; highs in the 80s, lows in the 50s/60s.Unless you bring a low front down with you, expect high humidity, rain or shine.

Take a look at the HNR’s Autofair website: http://www.charlotte-autofair.com/

Edited by Phillip Cole (see edit history)

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Phil, thanks so much for all the great info - we'll be able to hit the ground running ! Wonder if they'll have a Moxie tasting event ?

See you there,

Edited by Whitmoyer
Editorial (see edit history)

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They DO have bottled water at $5 a bottle. Wow. Take your own food and drinks, if you're used to the culinary fare at Carlisle- you're going to be disappointed. Try to park to the rear of the track- near the big water tower- and avoid the traffic snarles on Rt. 29 and Speedway BLVD. There are several decent hotels south of the track and you can avoid driving past the track alltogether. There are 2 flea market fields outside the track- near the rear parking lot; and then a huge flea market area inside the track. The rows run around in crcles and there are some fences you can't go thru- so expect a bit of exploring to find it all. If you're driving south on I-95 from PA, the traffic just south of DC is a real mess- esp. coming north on a weekend evening. A better route for you would probably be I-81. Just watch out for the kamakazee truckers! Enjoy.

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I was at Charlotte spring of 2014. I missed the $5.00 water but did see it for $2.50, 3.00,& 4.00 at food vendors. I also saw it for $1,00 being sold by vendors selling used parts. Unlike Hershey, most of the swap meet vendors are on grass or gravel. A small wheel cart is difficult to pull around.

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I've never gone to the fall event, but I never miss the spring one. 10,000 flea market spaces overall!!! I never saw the 5.00 water but I bought a lot of water and soft drinks from the vendors on the field for 1.00. As far as culinary delights....I'm Pa Dutch and I'll take southern barbecue every time!!! Make sure to find an off the beaten path rib place and enjoy!! I have stayed at a number of chain hotels near Charlotte for 40.00 a night and avoided the speedway area prices. Only 7-10 miles and worth the price difference!! Outstanding southern hospitality and a generally friendly attitude among the vendors. If you want any specific recommendations feel free to contact me directly at tmkldwwj@yahoo.com

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Phil, greenie, huptoy, and Dave - Thank you very much, this is great, very much appreciated.

We'll be using 81 to 77 to 29 to ??? The ride through Virginia can be, long ? Or as my 5 yr old granddaughter says, Virginia is one humongous state along with are we still in Virginia ? Thanks for the I95 tip.

Dave I'll be contacting you for some specifics, especially restaurants... First time out I listen to the veterans !

$1 to $5 water not so bad, it is good for you, could even save your life... I've seen ice cream at Cape May NJ go for more than that, and while it is good, maybe not so good for you, and I've never seen the guys struggling through the desert cry out for ice cream !

We are really looking forward to this trek, thank you again !

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That ride across Virginia the long way is indeed long and boring. I swear you pass the same tree 3 times between Winchester and Pulaski. Make sure you are awake when you top the rise at Fancy Gap and begin that long downhill run. Not sure how deep that valley is but must be 500-1000 ft. Always a highlight in an otherwise dull ride. Good roads though so you can make good time.

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You saw that tree too ? I thought I was the only one !

We'll be sure to be awake when we hit Fancy Gap... I moved my daughter from Beckley WVA to Dothan AL in August years ago... Original plan was I would meet her in Beckley and observe the movers (first time in my life !) pack and load her stuff into a moving van and we would meet them in Dothan a day or so later. This all collapsed in a few hours - we rented the only "available" Ryder truck - an old 16 or 20 ft box truck with a loading height about 4 ft high, but it had a ramp... After nearly getting run over by her washer coming down the stairway from second floor we were on our way.... Fancy Gap was totally unexpected and at first a beautiful sight, then it became a little scary... Big truck, brakes getting warm and smelly, governor kicking in and out, engine revving then almost stalling, one ride I hope not to repeat !

thanks for the info and warning...

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Anyone have a friend with an extra space that they are willing to sell or perhaps have a space and not going.

thanks

dan

dlmarx at bellsouth.net

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We used to ride up on the Blueridge Parkway near Fancy Gap on July 4th evening and watch five fireworks displays at once. It is an outstanding view.

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