Donuts and Ghost Rides. Boxes and Buckets. Cools and Stangs. It all started in the Bay Area back in the 90's. Deep in East Oakland, they'd meet in empty parking lots and spin circles until the police came. The Sideshow, they called it.

Elaborate and boisterous stunt driving. Back then, it was about the cars more than the skill of the drivers, but the goal was still the same. It was about making a statement. A loud and smoky announcement to the status quo. And the message was simple. "All eyes on me!" For inner-city youth from one of the country’s most dangerous neighborhoods, it was an important thing to say. They were heard, and they were nearly shut down. For a while, the city and the police thought they had a handle on the Sideshows, but now they're back and louder than ever.

If you Google "Oakland Sideshows" you're most likely going to find articles about shootings or accidents, but for the participants, it's a hobby. An activity that keeps them away from other, more nefarious activities. For them, the Sideshow is their safe zone. It’s a place where you show up and show off. And when the cops show up, you drive off to the next spot, where you do it all over again...

  • Zackary Canepari - Sidewayz

    Zackary Canepari

    Sidewayz

    Sony DSC-RX1 (F-Stop: 2.8, Shutter: 1/100, ISO: 2500)

    The Sideshows in Oakland have been around for almost 3 decades but over time the car culture has certainly evolved into a movement. Lately they've been resurrected and recreated to include illegal drag racing as well. Today the scene is all about showing off and acting wild. But it's also a form of expression. These kids live for this and ride out as often as they can.

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  • Zackary Canepari - Sidewayz

    Zackary Canepari

    Sidewayz

    Sony DSC-RX1 (F-Stop: 2.8, Shutter: 1/100, ISO: 2500)

    These days the drag races on 7th Street are the most common place to see a Sideshow. The drag racing is a bit of a new element in the Sideshow world since traditionally it's more about precision stunt driving, like doing donuts or ghost riding.

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  • Zackary Canepari - Sidewayz

    Zackary Canepari

    Sidewayz

    Sony DSC-RX1 (F-Stop: 2.8, Shutter: 1/13, ISO: 400)

    Cars race along a road during a 7th Street Sideshow, an illegal gathering of car and motorbike enthusiasts who come together to perform stunts and hold street drag races.

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  • Zackary Canepari - Sidewayz

    Zackary Canepari

    Sidewayz

    Sony DSC-RX1 (F-Stop: 2, Shutter: 1/30, ISO: 800)

    Some cars just are not meant for sideshows. The traditional sideshow mostly consists of doing precision donuts in parking lots.

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