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Memorial Day Blowout once again loud and proud

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 9:38 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - After being silenced because of COVID-19, the roar of the motorcycles is sweet music, and the 38th annual Memorial Day Blowout at the Gulfport Dragway is Kevin Campbell’s race heaven.

“I like the racing,” he said. “And the girls don’t hurt either.”

The Poplarville resident has a front-row seat.

“We come to park right there between the finish line and starting line to try to catch it all,” said Campbell.

Campbell compares his love for motorcycles to another passion.

“My dad got me started on one when I was pretty young and I’ve just always had one,” he said. “I just love ‘em. It’s a freedom. It’s like being on a tractor. You can do a lot of thinking and get your mind right.”

Getting minds right is the mission of long-time supporter: Hellfighters International.

“That’s what we’re here to do is just make sure that everybody has a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said co-founder Gina Headrick. “That’s the main thing. And for us, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

The motorcycle ministry out of Laurel has been part of the Blowout for more than 20 years. The sale of motorcycle parts and accessories supports the group’s rehabilitation center, but, it’s the face-to-face time that Pat Arthur loves best

“A lot of times, people come out here, they want to have a good time,” said Arthur. “But they also want to have an ear so that we can listen, love on them and just make them feel special.”

It’s also special to see some earthly beauty showcased when you can get the bikes to stop long enough to admire.

“Putting the show on, we like to see some of the creativity the guys put into their own motorcycles,” said bike show organizer Rene Bankston of the Southern Coast Riders Motorcycle Association. “You can tell they’ve done the work themselves. Lots of unique characteristics. It makes it their bike.”

And what’s the best design?

“Oh, man. That’s totally a personal opinion of the person looking at the bike at that moment,” said Bankston

The event put on by the Asgard Motorcycle Club continues Sunday with gates opening at noon.

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