Out of all the areas on this big rock we call home, there is one that seems to always get forgotten by us magazine folks as we travel the show circuit: the Northwest. It could be because they hold their truck runs up in the trees like a bunch of reclusive Ewoks, or it could be that the best shows are always kept secret for as long as possible. Well, we're here to let the cat out of the bag.

For the fourth year in a row, Magical Minis has filled up the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem, Oregon, with custom trucks from Arizona to Canada for three days of old-school truck-run fun that the club likes to call Drop Zone. Roll-in began Friday, with people staking their claim to spots under the canopy of giant shade trees with their tents, inflatable air mattresses, and ice chests that would serve as a home away from home for the weekend. Once camp was set up and the brews were flowing, there was only one thing to do - start up a mini drag session to see whose truck sparked the hardest. Dario, the Canadian import, showed off his body-dropped Ranger and schooled a few of the natives by doing his impression of a snowplow.

Saturday looked as though the Mini Truckin' fairy waved her magic wand over the parking lot, as patches of Nissans, S-10s, and Mazdas instantly grew like weeds out of the ground. Every possible inch of the parking lot was packed with 'bagged and body-dropped trucks, all laid out and ready to be judged. A huge building housed several more featured show trucks as well as vendors and a tattoo parlor, in case you had the itch for ink. As the sun set behind the trees, the focus was turned to the main stage, where pitchers of water were being filled for the wet T-shirt contest. The girls who came on stage were drenched with water, which miraculously dissolved their clothes, leaving them naked and loving it.

The party lasted long into the night, as trucks dragged all throughout the fairgrounds, lighting it up with sparks. Music and bullhorns ensured that unless you were a heavy sleeper, you were up partying with everyone else. To join in on what could very well be one of the best secret shows on the West Coast (July 29-31), contact Eric Self at (503) 304-1026, e.self@comcast.net, or www.magicalminis.com.

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