Events include Back to the Bricks / Corvette Reunion / Woodward Dream Cruise & Corvettes on Woodward
In just a few days, four of the most exciting automotive events will take place in Michigan and if you are a real automobile enthusiast, particularly a Corvette enthusiast, you need to be a part of it.
On August 17, thousands of cars and hundreds of thousands of car lovers will pack downtown Flint, Michigan, for the 9th Annual Back to the Bricks car show. Yeah, it takes place the same day as the famous Detroit Woodward Dream Cruise which goes on sixty miles to the south of Flint, but that in no way has kept those that really know and appreciate cars away. At the Back to the Bricks event you can take your time and examine all types of cars, from muscle cars, hot rods, restomods and classics to Corvettes. One of the main attractions to the “Bricks” event is the Corvette Reunion which attracts almost 750 Corvettes from all over the country.
On the same Saturday, sixty miles south of Flint, the nationally famous Woodward Dream Cruise is also taking place, where thousands of hot rods, muscle cars, classics and sports cars will be cruising up and down the infamous Woodward Avenue in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators.
And Wednesday, August 14th, a few days before the spectacular Saturday events, Corvettes on Woodward will kick off a Corvette parade down Woodward which will include 500 Corvettes, two abreast and almost five miles long, for the benefit of the Open Hands Food Pantry. If you are a “car nut” with a little advanced planning you can be a part of all four events. Clearly, Michigan is the only place to be during the third week of August if you love automobiles.
Back to the Bricks – Flint, Michigan
Tuesday, August 13 through Saturday, August 17
Most of the downtown streets of Flint are closed to automobile traffic in support of the Bricks car show which has grown, since it was first conceived a decade before, to become the major attraction in a city steeped in automobile history. The Back to the Bricks event was founded a decade ago by Allen Hatch in an effort to help preserve Flint’s rich automotive history and help revive the downtown area. All profits from the event are donated to the statue project which recognizes early automotive pioneers important in Flint’s history.
Thousands of cars line up in the early morning hours to be the first to get choice locations to display their cars. If you are not showing your car as part of a club or organization which has been pre-assigned a designated spot, street locations are on a first come basis. Like several of the country’s largest automotive events, Back to the Bricks is supported by a full week of “pre show” happenings which have become known as “Tune Up Week.” The activities during the week involves rolling cruises, and car shows in surrounding communities, as well as parties, concerts, and even a free movie at one of the three remaining drive-in theaters in Michigan. There is no charge to show off your car in the Back to the Bricks event or to be one of the hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts who just come to admire cars and trucks of every classification.
Corvette Reunion – Flint, Michigan
Friday August 16 through Saturday, August 17
A major attraction of the Back to the Bricks Saturday car show is the largest Corvette event in Michigan and one of the largest Corvette events in the country, the Corvette Reunion. This event has grown exponentially in the four years since its inception and this year will attract almost 750 Corvettes from around the entire country. The Reunion has become so popular, the National Corvette Museum, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will be on hand to participate. The Corvette Reunion is actually a Corvette car show within the larger Back to the Bricks show and is organized and managed separately under the guidance of the four Flint Michigan Corvette clubs, which banded together four years ago under the leadership of Gary Drago and Anthony Bowling to begin what has become known as the Corvette Reunion. As a prelude to the spectacular Corvette car show which takes place on Saturday, August 17, several participants gather for a meet and greet party the Friday evening before at the Bricks Street Bar and Grill.
All Corvettes participating in the Back to the Bricks show park together on the reserved streets for the Reunion. Each year the event has grown from a couple hundred Corvettes to last year’s 500+ cars from every generation and now takes up several of Flint’s downtown streets. Unlike the Back to the Bricks show, the Corvette Reunion gives out awards and trophies to the winning cars participating in the “judged” event. To be a part of the “judged” event there is a small charge to help offset the costs, however if you want to show your Corvette only there is no charge.
Woodward Dream Cruise – Woodward Avenue Detroit Suburbs
Tuesday, August 13, through Saturday, August 17
On the same day as the Corvette Reunion and the Bricks event, sixty miles south of Flint, the world famous Woodward Dream Cruise takes place along Woodward Avenue in the suburbs of Detroit. Unlike the Bricks and Corvette Reunion the Dream Cruise is a rolling cruise up and down the infamous Woodward Avenue while thousands of car enthusiasts line the streets to watch the cars go by. Also unlike the Bricks where Flint closes the streets of their downtown to regular traffic in support of the event, Woodward Avenue is not closed to regular automobile traffic, so much of Saturday the road is backed up and often causes the Dream Cruise become more like the Dream Creep. But similar to the Bricks event, the Woodward Dream Cruise also takes place “unofficially” the entire week before the main Saturday event and every weeknight Woodward is packed with cars, most of which will also be a part of the Saturday event. On the official Saturday of the cruise in addition to the cars there are also various automobile manufacturer displays set up to enjoy. It is reported that GM will have the new C7 on display in their exhibit. Several enthusiasts go to Woodward Avenue every night during the week but typically the best night, which rivals Saturday’s main event, is Friday night. If you’re not cruising in your Corvette, hot rod or collector car make sure to get there early because parking can be a major problem.
Corvettes on Woodward – Woodward Avenue Detroit Suburbs
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/great-lakes/3136596-2013-corvettes-on-woodward.html Wednesday, August 14 through Friday August 16
One of the best Corvette events taking place during the week of the Dream Cruise is Larry Courtney’s Corvettes on Woodward. On Wednesday, August 14th, Larry’s annual, Corvettes on Woodward, lights up the Woodward strip, with an impressive display of Corvettes that travel to Woodward every year from all over the world. In addition to a caravan of over 500 Corvettes down the historic avenue, there are “meet and greets,” parties, and tours of automobile collections and performance manufacturers on Thursday, August 15th, and Friday, August 17th.
One of the most popular activities of Larry’s event is a tour of GM’s Heritage Collection in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where the event kicks off on Wednesday morning at 10 AM. The cost to be able to tour GM’s collection of automobiles is ten dollars which is donated to charity. Following the tour, participants head to the Radisson Hotel in Bloomfield Hills for an afternoon meeting with other Corvette owners and enthusiasts, as well as raffles and vendors offering Corvette apparel and accessories. Courtney will also be giving out information on the 2014 National Corvette Caravan. At 7 PM the police show up to block off Woodward Avenue to allow the 500+ Corvettes to parade almost ten miles down Woodward Avenue to the Open Hands Food Pantry. A food or cash donation is the cost of being a part of the massive Corvette parade.
The two days after the main event are filled with tours of the Lingenfelter collection and Katech Performance Engineering, but the tours are limited and advance registration is required by contacting Larry via his email firstname.lastname@example.org. Courtney is a well known and respected member of the Corvette community and is the Michigan Captain of the National Corvette Museum’s National Caravan and is also involved in organizing and promoting several Michigan Corvette events.
So you can see if you are a car lover, particularly a Corvette enthusiast, you can bask in all things automotive the Week of August 11th in Michigan. And with a little planning, the events are not mutually exclusive as some might think. If you are coming in from out of town for the Dream Cruise it is well worth your time to go to the Bricks and the Corvette Reunion as well.
The truth of the matter is you can see much of what takes place Saturday at the Dream Cruise on the Friday night before, August 16th. That leaves Saturday free to attend the “not to be missed” Flint events. And if you are set on seeing the Dream Cruise on Saturday, you can still make it back to Woodward for Saturday night at the Dream Cruise. Though the Woodward Dream Cruise is perhaps better known than the Bricks and Corvette Reunion events, the events are equally exciting, important and shouldn’t be missed.
So to help out our readers here’s a suggested agenda for the Corvette enthusiast so you can get the most bang for the buck.
Corvette Agenda for Week of August 11th
Tuesday, August 13th
- Flint – PM Free Drive In movie at the US 23 Drive In Movie. There will be music and the world famous drag racers, the Ramchargers, will be there.
Wednesday, August 14th
- Sterling Heights – 10 AM – Tour the GM Heritage Center as part of the Corvettes On Woodward.
- Bloomfield Hills – 12 Noon – Convene at the Radisson for vendor displays and information on the 2014 National Corvette Caravan. Make sure to bring a food donation to be a part of the caravan and will be collected by Cauley Automotive.
- Bloomfield Hills – 7 PM – Depart Radisson lot for the Corvette Parade down Woodward Avenue to the Open Hands Food Pantry at 11 Mile and Woodward.
Thursday, August 14th
- Brighton – AM take Lingenfelter Tour ($10 donation)
- Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise – PM
Friday August 16th
- Woodward Dream Cruise – All Day
Saturday, August 17th
- Flint – 8 AM to 3 PM Corvette Reunion (make sure you arrive no later than 8 AM to avoid traffic delays (If you are driving from Detroit allow an hour). Note there is a Corvette Reunion entrance at Marin Luther King Blvd. and 5th St. At 3 PM depart Flint to return to Woodward Avenue and the Dream Cruise.
- Woodward Dream Cruise – All Evening
Sunday August 18th
- Final cruise of Woodward before you pack your bags and head to Carlisle.
That is a full week schedule of Corvette and automobile events that will satisfy even the most hard core enthusiast, a full week of Corvette ecstasy.
Rick Tavel writes about automobiles with an emphasis on Corvettes and the hobby in general. You can see his website at revenantrt.blogspot.com