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Hot rods continue to draw crowds
2 Hotrods pic
Terry Gabriel of Gainesville polishes his 1955 Chevy Bel Air in preparation for the car show Friday at the Mountain Moonshine Festival. An estimated 1,500 hot rods were on display in Dawsonville over the weekend. - photo by David Renner Dawson Community News

One of the biggest collections of hot rods was on display this weekend in Dawsonville during the 46th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival.

"All my friends come in, we got a little car club and we came down to the festival," said Terry Gabriel. "I've always been a ... car lover. The car show brought me down here."

Gabriel's 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air was among an estimated 1,500 cars in town for the festival that drew 100,000 visitors.

Lance Lorenz drove in from McDonough.

"I've been coming to the festival for years," Lorenz said. "There's a group of us together that come in every year. It's a lot of fun."

The car shows and cruise-ins at the festival have grown from 300 cars in 2007 to more than 1,500, with car enthusiasts from as far away as Oregon, participating this year.

"It was a real success. It was great," said organizer Walt Simonds. "Everywhere I go to car shows, people are talking about going to Dawsonville for the Moonshine Festival's car shows."