Mooning of The Amtrak

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For the last 36 years, the city of Laguna Niguel, California, has been host to a bizarre tradition called the Mooning of the Amtrak. Every year on the second Saturday of July, hundreds to thousands of people gather along the fence outside of Mugs Away Saloon Camino Capistrano, and drop their pants to expose their behind as the Amtrak trains roll by. Even the trains slow down so that passengers can enjoy the show.

Like all harebrained ideas, Mooning of the Amtrak began with the promise of free alcohol. Legend has it that in 1979 a patron at the Mugs Away Saloon, which stands directly across the road from the railway, offered to buy a drink to anyone who would run outside to the rail road tracks and bare their bottoms, or “moon” at the next train. Some accepted the challenge and a ritual was born.

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Photo credit: Chuck Coker/Flickr

Every year since then, more and more people began to show up to drop their pants or lift their skirts. Starting with the first Amtrak train which passes by around 7:30 am in the morning, the mooning goes on all throughout the day and past sunset until the last train before midnight. Over the past couple of years, it has turned into much more than mooning. In 2008, the crowd swelled to 10,000 and things got a little out of hand. Some ladies began taking of their t-shirts and flashing at the trains and cops had to called in to disperse the crowd.

The following year, new ordinances and more law enforcement officers were put in place and attendance dropped to about 1,000. Since then, crowds have been declining.

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Photo credit: Chuck Coker/Flickr

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Photo credit: Chuck Coker/Flickr

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Photo credit: Chuck Coker/Flickr

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Photo credit: Chuck Coker/Flickr

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Photo credit: michsamp/Flickr

Sources: LA Weekly / Telegraph / www.ocregister.com

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