2018's Circle K Speed Street kicks off in uptown Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Streets in uptown Charlotte will be packed with people this weekend who are excited for food, drinks, exhibits of all kinds and of course live music.

The 24th annual Circle K Speed Street kicks off Thursday at noon. Crowds of Charlotteans will the fill streets of uptown Charlotte from Thursday to Saturday to celebrate the May races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The festival is all about racing now, but it has its origins in college basketball and a Final Four tournament held in Charlotte in the 1990's.

"There was an event called Street of Champions," said event planner Jay Howard. "It was the first time that this area had really come alive at night in support of a national sporting event.  That led to how can we do this going forward.  Coke 600 being such a signature event on a holiday weekend, became an anchor for what now 24 years later is still a street festival in Charlotte."

The three day festival will have a big impact on drivers heading to uptown Charlotte. There are several road closures around uptown that you need to be aware of.

A portion of of South Tryon Street in uptown has already been shut down for the yearly event.

Later on Thursday morning, 4th and 3rd streets, along with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will close from Church Street to College Street and the parking lane on Mint Street between Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and West 3rd Street will be closed as well.

The road closures began on Tuesday and are still in effect as of Thursday morning.

Drivers should expect traffic! Make sure you plan accordingly and give yourself extra time to get where you need to be.

Be excited because every night of the jampacked and family-fun weekend will feature a musical guest!

You can find the full lineup of musical artists here.

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