By Karl Klooster • Staff Writer • 

Drag the Gut draws big crowd

He went on to say, “It's clear that we now have a two-day event on our hands,” he stated. “So many cars participated in the impromptu Friday night cruise-in, and so many people showed up to see it, that we are going to make it an official part of the Festival next year.”

Contreras estimated Friday night's cruise-in crowd, which lined the sidewalks along Third Street, was at least as large as the Festival's total attendance the first couple of years.

“There's something about GutFest that sparks genuine enthusiasm,” he said. “It's organic. I felt this from the gut feeling in the crowd lining Third Street when the Ezra Koch Car Show entrants kicked off the Saturday cruise-in.”

The excitement carried over for the Nu Shooz on Saturday night.

“Portland fans came here just to see them in this reunion concert,” Contreras noted. “It was the first time they'd played together in 24 years.”

Attendees at this year's Ezra Koch Car Show were treated to a record turnout of 107 vehicles. Vintage cars stood alongside cruising-era classics, meaty muscle cars, hot rod roadsters and brand new beauties straight off the showroom floor.

It should also be mentioned that, unlike McMinnville's other major annual events, the Dragging the Gut Festival is not put on by a community organization. The support of private sponsors and a terrific group of volunteers make it possible.

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