According to lore: “Scoop the Loop” was a term coined in 1949 by cab driver Jack Young, referring to scooping-up (picking-up) fares in downtown Waukegan, and dropping them off – only to return and repeat the process throughout the shift. The term was later adopted in the decades that followed by the city’s youth who regularly socialized downtown; by means of hanging out, and cruising in their cars up and down – particularly on Genesee Street (a la “American Graffiti”) and along the bridge over the Waukegan River. The practice continued until it was cracked-down and outlawed in the 1970s when business owners began complaining – ironically putting another nail in downtown Waukegan’s coffin, which was already losing business since the 1971-opening of Lakehurst Mall.
The tradition of “scooping” would later be revived in the mid-1980s as an annual car show and cruise in mid-July, which has continued almost every year under several different names and leaderships. Now in its second year, the current incarnation – known simply as “SCOOP” – took place on July 9-10, and combines the “Unplugged” open, unsanctioned cruising of Genesee Street that organized after the city stopped supporting the event in 2010 on Friday night, with a traditional car show and second cruise limited only to show participants all-day Saturday; along with a variety of musical performances and entertainers in-between. Last year’s event was hindered by rain on both days, but still drew a remarkable turnout – this year’s easily blew it out of the water with beautiful weather on Friday night, which saw Genesee Street lined bumper-to-bumper with a variety of classic cars, modern muscle, motorcycles, imports, lowriders, and even a few oddities from kickoff to around 9 or 10 when the road was closed for the following day’s show!