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This ball has attracted more than 1,600 people, many of whom traveled more than 310 miles along dusty country roads in souped-up pickup trucks, known as "utes."The utes, an integral part of B&S culture, have large bull bars attached to the front and are covered in bumper stickers with such slogans as, "My ute, my country, no distance too far, just follow my dust to the next B&S bar.

"Most partygoers sleep in the back of their utes or roll out a "swag" - a canvas-covered sleeping bag - under the stars to sleep off the night's excesses.Some women at "Condo," as Condobolin is locally known, admit that the vehicle often is what attracts them to a man.

"It doesn't matter what he looks like, it's the ute that counts," said Alyse Hawks, who came to the ball with six girlfriends.

Men dress for the dance in tuxedos, boots and hats.Women squeeze into homemade taffeta skirts - but leave their boots and jeans on underneath.

A band covers songs in the country hall, while men wait outside at a long bar to fill the plastic cups issued when they pay the $47 entry fee, which includes all the beer you can drink and a couple of steak sandwiches.

By midnight, drunken young men scuffle in the red dust as others urge them reported that, as Chen was taken to court amid heavy security Monday morning, residents lined the road to watch and praised authorities for acting swiftly.

More than 20 police vehicles formed a convoy to escort Chen to court, the Web site reported.After an intensive manhunt, Chen was apprehended Sept.

16 aboard a train in Zhengzhou, a city about 370 miles northwest of Nanjing.Chen, the owner of a rival snack shop, confessed a day later to spreading the poison, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

He said he was resentful over his rival's success, official media said.