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Jul-26-2011 06:30printcommentsVideo

McMinnville's 'Drag the Gut' Cruise Event Sees Outstanding Turnout

Possibly the single best cruise night in America for a town its size.

'Drag the Gut' photo by Dexter Phoenix
'Drag the Gut' photo by Dexter Phoenix

(MCMINNVILLE, Ore.) - This year's 'Drag the Gut' cruising event in McMinnville was absolutely fantastic and it saw a much larger turnout than last year's gathering, which was the first time since 1989 that the cruise event was 'allowed' by local police who enforce a local ordinance against cruising, a popular cultural activity that used to draw many people to McMinnville.

Photo by Dexter Phoenix

The enthusiasm for custom cars of every variety is as alive as ever, based on what we saw Saturday night in 'Mac'. On hand were some of the finest cars in the Pacific Northwest.

They ranged from Ferraris, to flatbeds; Hummers, to hot rod highboy Fords in 50's trim. Low riders passed Jeeps and Harleys roared along with the regular expected Camaros, Mustangs, Porsches, Chargers, Corvettes of every era.

There were kids ranging in age from 16 to 80 and beyond, one big group of people all sharing a great common interest and all young at heart or they would be doing something entirely different.

We were moved to learn last year that many cars cruising 3rd Street in McMinnville had not seen the light of day, or night as the case may be, since the cruising ban was put into effect. That is a sad way to have to protest what seems like an unruly law. But the police are allowing this event and that is a positive step in the right direction.

Other than the fact that it was closed down about half an hour after it became dark, at what seemed like a very early time, 10:00 p.m., people had a lot of fun.

The event organizer, Reuben Contreras, later said it hadn't occurred to him that he could have set the event to run until 11:00 p.m. (or later) and says that idea is on the drawing board for next year's event.

Each year the people behind the revival of this popular event (that used to be a regular activity in McMinnville until outlawed) try hard to get participants to not break the law. Doing burnouts may be as common to cruising as apple pie is to ice cream, but it is dangerous and so people at this year's event played it very cool and kept it mostly to revving engines.

One driver reportedly rolled through a red light, as the traffic slugged along at about one mile per hour, and a police officer "pulled over" the truck in the middle of Third Street. The fully packed traveling lane backed up and everyone remain stopped for about ten minutes, while the officer went about citing the driver.

I believe based on the quality and sheer number of cars and bikes involved in this year's event, this may be the single best cruse event of its type in existence.

We met a couple who became an item 30 years ago on the Gut and have been happily married ever since, and last year we met at least two couples with the same story, all enjoying the chance to relive the past. Then and now, the romance of dragging the gut in McMinnville continues.



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denny messner November 22, 2011 7:45 pm (Pacific time)

thank you for shooting a great time here in mcminnville 2011, the car's are as great as the people who live an work here in yamhill county, thanks again

Editor: It is a pleasure to support this wholesome event, and Bonnie Kin of was part of it as a youth in Yamhill County, glad to know it is back, I hope it broadens over time. 

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