DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) – People across the Pee Dee host parties on race weekend, but one family wants fans to have a good time for a good cause. They’ve been throwing race parties for more than 20 years. Admission is free, but they ask their guests to donate to charity.
“It was owned by my uncle Brian Pipkin to begin with, it was called Brian’s Race Party,” co-host Hunter Parker said, “We bought the house three years ago and it’s now called Hunter and Kricket’s Race Party.” The parties feature games and live music. For a fee, campers can set up their tents and trailers on the property as well. The donations benefit Rolling thunder, an organization aimed at helping veterans.
“My brother was also a veteran,” Parker said, “He passed away two years ago and Rolling Thunder stepped in and helped out with the funeral costs and stuff like that.” Parker served in the Marines and now works as a police officer. He said last year’s parties were smaller due to COVID-19, so they’ll donate their proceeds to the group again this year. Last year, they donated more than $900 and hope to raise even more money this year.
In addition to the fun and games, the hosts also offer a designated driver to guests.
“We do have a friend that, if needed, offers sober rides,” co-host Ashley “Kricket” Parker said, “All you have to do is call or text him and he’ll pick you up and take you where you need to go.” With amenities like that, it’s no wonder guests keep coming back. Some campers have stayed at the house for over a decade.
“Oh, we’ve been coming about fifteen years,” camper Dwayne Carter said, “The bands, the NASCAR, everything, it’s just all one good time.” The party will celebrate its twentieth anniversary in September at the Southern 500 to benefit Rolling Thunder. The Parkers said they plan on donating to autism awareness next year.