GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Thousand of bikers are on the coast this weekend for the 32nd Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Memorial Day Blowout at the Gulfport Dragway.
It features more than a dozen contests, shows and races over the course of the four day event.
After we ventured to the dragway we discovered, for bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts, this event is a dream come true.
Competitors test their strength in the barrel toss before the crowds. Just a few feet away a bike show features some stand out paint jobs. There's a lot of activity going on at one time at the Gulfport Dragway.
The annual Memorial Day Blowout draws people from all over the country to South Mississippi.
One of the big reasons they come is for the racing.
"Nitrous oxide and burning rubber. I like to go fast. It's an adrenaline rush," said Tanya Autagment. She says this is her first time at the event.
"Excitement I guess I probably them doing burn outs on the drag strip and racing down the track," said Bobby Hall.
Lee Pellegrin makes it to the end of the drag strip at more than 140 miles per hour in a little over 13 seconds. The real race pressure isn't on yet it's just practice time.
The champion racer says he can make it to the finish line much faster than 13 seconds.
With a whole lot of focus and bike maintenance Pellgrin says he's confident about his upcoming race in the Blowout.
"It's a bracket race, where you race on a handicap where any person with any style bike can race against me," said racer Lee Pellegrin.
Organizers say though they offer plenty of events and vendors for motorcycle enthusiasts, above all they make sure the event has a welcoming atmosphere.
"The southern hospitality is the main thing we focus on. We want to make people feel comfortable. We want to make them feel welcome," said Smokey with Asgard Motorcycle Club.
"It's like a family here. We have a track family. And the people that show up here we see all the time. It's a very good group of people to be around," said Pellegrin.
If you didn't make it out to the event Saturday, it continues Sunday through Monday.
All proceeds from the event go towards various charities, mainly towards the Gulf Coast Multiple Sclerosis Society. The event is put on by the Asgard Motorcycle Club as well as the Gulfport Dragway Inc.