Cracking Down on Oakland's Auto 'Sideshows'

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Souped-up, dangerous stunts and rowdy crowds... in Oakland, Calif., those are the key elements of illegal street rallies that police are trying to stop.

The rallies — where young drivers try to outdo one another with feats of burning rubber and rodeo-style antics — are called "sideshows." They usually happen late at night. Word gets out and soon hundreds of people show up at an intersection or parking lot to watch as drivers do donuts or figure-eights.

Scene from Yakpasua Zazaboi's 'sideshow' DVD

Scene from Yakpasua Zazaboi's "sideshow" DVD Sydewayz Vol. 1 hide caption

itoggle caption

The best way to find one is follow the sound of music and screeching tires, or follow your nose and the scent of burning tires. The sideshows are surviving despite Oakland's efforts to get tough.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.