GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A huge crowd of Cruisers gathered at the Island View Casino Tuesday night for one of the week’s most popular events: The Flame-Throwing Competition.
Spectators utilized the three story parking garage as bleachers and a way to gain a bird’s-eye view of the action. The place was packed, but that should come as no surprise as Cruisin’ participation is on pace to break last year’s record.
“So we got the rest of this week to register vehicles. So things are really looking good. Our top number last year was 8444 so we’re looking really good,” said Cruisin’ Executive Director Woody Bailey. “We are already at 8015 on Tuesday afternoon."
A big reason for that increase are the annual events, like the flame-throwing competition, that draw people back year after year.
“We love it man. We love it. We have come here forever. About 25 years, as long as it has been going on,” said Buddy Degeyter.
While few can say they have been to every year of Cruisin', events like the flame-throwing competition continue to hook new attendees.
“It is just a bunch of nice vehicles throwing flames, as you can see. Nice crowd here, everyone is having a good time. Been the highlight of the day," said Jamie Dooley.
Yet attendees weren’t the only ones singing their praises. Many of the competitors enjoyed themselves. JR Murray even went as far as claiming the event as his all-time favorite.
“This is the best car event I have ever been to. I have been to Pigeon Forge, all of them. This is the best one," said Murray.