For a promoter, there is one thing to look for that can make or break an event - location. For the past six years, Eddy Cebreco of Xtreme Lowz has chosen West Palm Beach, Florida, to host his annual charity blood drive, Blooddrag, but over the years, several elements have pulled West Palm Beach off the "desirable" list. In a search for a new location, Eddy looked for a city that would support the show as well as a venue that would allow a sanctioned drag-off - a key component that had been missing due to a lack of cooperation with the previous location. After months of research, his answer came in the form of Live Oak, Florida, a smaller, but much more hospitable town almost five hours north of West Palm Beach.
"Hospitable" may actually be an understatement, though, since from the minute trucks began rolling off the interstate and onto the streets of Live Oak, they were met with smiles. Of course, there were a few nervous faces in the crowd from those worried the horde of 'bagged trucks that began filling up the hotel parking lots were only there to destroy their town. But by the end of the weekend, all of Live Oak knew we were just there to have a good time.
The truck show itself was held at the Suwannee County Airport, just a few minutes away from the local hotels. Early Saturday morning, trucks began lining up in front of the airport and then rolled out and parked along one of the runways that, obviously, wasn't in use. An adjoining lot housed the vendors village, where retailers such as CSR Performance, Custom Illusions, Drop 'Em Wear?, Godfather's Customs, MMATS Pro Audio, Q&C Car Audio, Scrapin' Customs, and The Wheel Stop set up booths.
A few hundred feet from the line of show trucks was an additional runway that saw some use from several light aircraft throughout the day. One pilot inadvertently put on a nice show for the crowd by losing control and crashing his aircraft. The unofficial story is that his brakes locked up on one side, which sent the plane careening to the side and over onto its wing. Luckily, no one was injured. As horrific as a plane crash sounds on paper, it was more of a laugh than a scare.
The crowds on Sunday were met with a repeat of warm weather and blue skies throughout the day, creating the perfect backdrop for the bikini contest and awards ceremony. Out of the 650 vehicles that showed up for the event, Brad Speirs walked away with Best of Truck for his '97 Chevy S-10. For more information on this year's show or to register for the 2006 event, check out www.blooddraginc.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.