Bringing people together
It was supposed to be a one-time thing, just a fun little event to help get through the darkest days of the pandemic.
“We called it a Covid Cruise,” said Damian Christeson, organizer of the popular Drag the Gut event. “I saw other towns were doing them, so I decided to put one on here.
“After the first one, I posted on Facebook that we had a great time. We had probably 450 comments, many of them asking when we were going to do it again.”
Now in its third year, Drag the Gut is a monthly event between the months of April and October. Participants gather with their favorite cars and trucks toward the north end of town and drive down Broadway as far as the south McDonald’s.
It sounds simple, Christeson said, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that mean the most.
“That’s what I love about it. Everybody is just there having a good time.”
“It brings people together,” he said. “That’s what I love about it. Everybody is just there having a good time. We all have our differences, but during things like this, we put them aside and just enjoy our time together. I think that’s why it’s stayed so popular.”
Christeson, who drags the gut in his 1999 Formula Firebird, said he enjoys seeing all of the different cars that participate in the event.
“The car community is a neat thing, because you have all of these sub-groups within the bigger community,” he said. “You have your imports, your muscle cars, your sports cars, your trucks. You really have a little bit of everything.”
Though Drag the Gut started as just a way to have fun, it quickly became more than that. Along with driving scores of people downtown, which helps downtown businesses, Drag the Gut also organizes initiatives such as a Pack the Bus school supply drive and a Trunk-or-Treat event during their final event of the year each October.
“I love seeing people from all walks of life coming together to enjoy our city in this way.”
“The community has been so gracious to us since we started,” Christeson said, “and I believe we should give back however we can.”
Drag the Gut also is now the organizer of the car show at Little Balkans Days, an annual Pittsburg festival celebrating the city’s heritage.
Christeson said it’s “kind of weird” to realize Drag the Gut is already in its third year, but he said he’s excited and grateful for what’s happened since that first run in 2020.
“You know, social media can be a bad thing,” he said, “but for us it’s been wonderful. This thing started with a simple Facebook post, and it’s turned into something that brings people together. That’s what it’s all about for me. I love seeing people from all walks of life coming together to enjoy our city in this way. It means a lot.”
Check out Drag the Gut online.