Back to the Bricks was bigger than ever

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The 5th Annual ‘Back to the Bricks Cruise and Car Show’ was bigger and more popular than ever before, according to show organizers.

In an update from Al Hatch, Chairman of the Back to the Bricks Cruise and Car Show, he noted that attendance surpassed projections for spectators and participants. They initially had planned for a general attendance of 250,000 for the five day event, with a car show participation of 25,000.

Although admission is free at the multiple-venue event, and an exact attendance can not be determined, Hatch noted, “By all estimates, the spectators and participants attendance surpassed our projected attendance figure… The weather was fantastic for the entire five days starting with the 1st Annual ‘Bricks Flicks’ drive-in movie on the grounds of the Flint Cultural Center. 

“Approximately 300 show cars showed up for the movie and the feature for the evening was ‘American Graffiti’.  Wednesday and Thursday evenings featured our famed ‘Rolling Cruise’ which featured 36 host sites, thousands of spectators and show cars cruising the twelve-mile cruise route that stretched from south of Grand Blanc, through Burton to downtown Flint.

“Friday’s activities kicked off with a free pancake breakfast in the U of M’s parking lot and was followed with a free hot dog lunch at Duke’s Car Stereo.  By 3 p.m. downtown Flint was starting to fill up with show cars in anticipation of the free Motown Concert featuring the Contours with Sylvester Potts.  By 5:30 p.m., the entire downtown of Flint was filled with show cars and thousands of spectators were starting to fill the streets of Flint.  Even with Friday night’s event officially closing at 10 p.m., many cars show owners and spectators chose to stay after closing to the wee hours of the night.”

Hatch went on to report that on feature day, Saturday, car owners began arriving in downtown Flint at 2 a.m. to get one of the prized parking spots. Hatch arrived at 6 a.m., ” to find the entire ‘Bricked’ surface of Saginaw Street filled with show cars!  That was a first!  Obviously, the show was kicking into high gear already even though it did not officially open until 10 a.m.
 
“By 10 a.m., all of the side streets were filled, along with Saginaw, Beach and Harrison Streets which are the main north-south streets.  Live entertainment abounded from one end of the show area to the other end.  Special displays included dragsters, antique fire engines, antique campers, professional cars (ambulances and hearses) and literately thousands of show cars.”

Although high temperatures and a three-quarter mile walk from end to end was blamed for keeping vendor traffic light at the first U of M’s ‘Market Pavilion’, Hatch said  the 2nd Annual ‘Women’s Market Place’ was a huge success. “It was sold out and featured over 25 vendors selling items for the fairer gender.  This left the guys with their cars to ‘tell lies and kick tires’ for a few hours with their buddies.”

Planning is already underway for next year’s 6th annual ‘Back to the Bricks’.  “We are keeping it to five days for next year and it promises to be bigger and better than this year’s,” Hatch said.

After last week’s event, Hatch said, “As most of the committee members deserved a few days to relax, I escaped to the north and slept for two days.  The batteries are now charged again and the ideas are beginning to roll in.”

He added, “One last thing, to all of the car owners; your vehicles are the show and we appreciate your patience.  Putting on an event of this magnitude is no small task and sometimes patience runs a little thin with everyone wanting their way.  But with that said, by 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, all was good and a great time was had by all.”
 
The ‘Back to the Bricks’ committee extends its gratitude to all of its sponsors as well as to the communities of Flint, Burton, Grand Blanc Township and the City of Grand Blanc, The City of Flint’s Downtown Development Authority, Flint Parks and Recreation, the Grand Blanc, Grand Blanc Township, Burton, City of Flint and the Genesee County Sheriff police agencies, and the local Chamber of Commerce groups – the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Burton Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Blanc Chamber of Commerce.
 
Look for more coverage on the 2009 Back to the Bricks event in Old Cars Weekly: we were there!

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