VIDEO: 'Moon Amtrak' Drops Fewer Drawers in 2012

More than 70 people bare their bums to passing trains during the annual event in Laguna Niguel.

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — Once again, the pants came down in Laguna Niguel, but so did participation in the city's quirky annual Moon Amtrak event.

The tradition, in place since 1979, involves crowds lowering their pants to “moon” passing and trains.

More than 70 showed up Saturday across the road from to display their derrieres. The turnout was significantly lower than .

Many came with friends and family, some spanning multiple generations. Folks from all walks of life came to drop their drawers, including Carol Wickenheisser and Susan Branch. Frequent participants in the past, the pair said they wanted to make a repeat appearance after missing last year’s. This year was Wickenheisser’s fifth time. Her daughter, Susan, came from New Mexico via train. Another participant was Danielle Heiser, a Boston native who stopped by during her visit with family.

Several changes were implemented this year, including a no-parking zone along Camino Capistrano. Cones were set up to stop drivers from parking in the street, while police patrolled the vicinity. Additionally, the business park's new owner installed new concrete and planted trees in the Crown Valley Business Park, prompting Mugs Away Saloon owner Karen Kalber to believe the event will be even better in the future.

The mooning madness started more than three decades ago with a dare, Kalber said. One customer promised to buy his buddies a drink if they dropped their drawers to the next train.

Fast forward a few years, and the tradition became a hit. Several veterans claimed there were some years when attendance topped 10,000. But they said the numbers have dwindled over the last few years, partly because problems with overnight parking and drinking prompted a .

On Saturday, Amtrak and Metrolink trains passed throughout the day. In years past, passengers on the train have been known to moon back at the trackside mooners.

Click here for an additional video of the event, July 14, 2012.

Sudenym July 15, 2012 at 05:20 PM
It looks like they're having fun. Too bad interest is bottoming out.
Shirley July 15, 2012 at 08:36 PM
For anyone that wants to show their ass, they get once a year to sorta' do it legally...It can never become Mardi Gras West again.
Chris Allen Davis July 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM
This does look like fun but , is there any wonder of why it is losing interest.Who wants to take a train ride to see a bunch of asses we can see that in our political race without the cracks.
Sue July 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM
There's a little custom we have down here in Pascagoula, MS called the "Mooning of the Train" except we have CSX instead of Amtrak. Everyone gathers at the local watering hole, The Jazz Club, having drinks, playing pool, listening to the juke box, having a good ole time until one can hear a train coming down the tracks. Everyone runs outside and lines up on the sidewalk and as the train blows its last whistle, they all drop their britches (not underwear! After all, this is the South!). A great time is had by all except the little old church ladies; they tend to stay on the other side of town as these shenanigans happen, but every once in a while, an old blue haired lady will get confused and wander into downtown on this eventful day and become horrified at the sight of what these young'uns are up to. We just shake our heads and say, "Bless her heart." and give her directions home.
Doug w July 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Holy cow...at first I thought CSX was mispelled SEX...I was thinking those folks in MS really party! ha ha.


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