Vehicles and Spectators Fill Downtown Fenton
Classic cars, enthusiasts jam-pack downtown Fenton during Back to the Bricks Tune Up Party.
The enthusiasm was clear as hundreds of cars and thousands of people packed the streets to watch classic cars make their way from Linden to downtown Fenton for the Back to the Bricks Tune Up Party Thursday.
They rolled along to tire companies on Owen Road (Discount Tire or Belle Tire) and car dealerships (Vic Canever Chevrolet, Randy Wise Buick GMC or Lasco Ford) for stamps on their punch cards. Completed punch cards were redeemed for a free T-shirt and entrance into a cash prize drawing.
“We had a total of 250 punch cards and we ran out of them,” stated event organizer Kristina Johnston. “We easily had a minimum of 500 vehicles and 3,000 spectators.”
According to Johnston, the goal of the event was to bring a new crowd to town and show them what Fenton has to offer. “These people may have never come to Fenton and now they will be back," Johnston said.
“Linden was a cooperative and welcome participant. We were glad to cross the two communities and we look forward to seeing more growth next year.”
Robert Rowley from Mt. Morris brought his custom 1929 Ford, 4-door sedan.
“There is everything you need in Fenton to have a great car show,” said Rowley. “The setting is wonderful with the older and new buildings, trees, grass, shade and the gazebo; I give it a ten out of ten.”
Rowley added that he is surprised Fenton doesn’t have more car shows because the shows bring a lot of people.
“All cruisers have to eat and drink and they will patronize all the local businesses.”
The event coincided with the Fenton Farmers’ Market and the Concert in the Park series, both also coordinated by Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation on behalf of the City of Fenton Downtown Development Authority (DDA).
DJ Bob Steel entertained the crowd and then Motor City Beat, a Motown band new to the concert series, took over.
“This is a fun event with a variety of cars and people. It’s nice to see all the businesses support Back to the Bricks and they deserve a big thank you,” said Ken Brant of Swartz Creek.
According to Johnston, the event exceeded their expectations. “We knew we would have a crowd but we had no idea it would be as big as it was,” she said. “We were at capacity this year and we are going to look at how to handle that for next year.”
Fenton resident Fred Rais said, “I love this event and it’s especially nice that the weather cooperated.”
Genesee Township resident Scott Binkley couldn’t agree more.
Binkley brought his 1969 Ford F250 Ranger with a 1969 Coachman camper. His goal is to attend all of the Back to the Bricks Tune Up parties and the main Back to the Bricks event in Flint next week.
“I want to get a T-shirt from each event; my wife says I’m just out to get a new wardrobe,” stated Binkley.
Bob and Sue Graves of Lake Fenton attend a lot of car shows with their 1963 Corvette Roadster. Graves said that what makes the Fenton show so unique is all of the residents who are spectators of the show.
“Not only the spectators, but the participation, because there are still cars that want to come in but the street is full,” stated Graves. “The organizers deserve a huge pat on the back.”
This year's Back to the Brick festivities in Flint will be held Aug. 16 to 20 in downtown Flint. For more information about Flint’s main event, visit the Back to the Bricks website.
The City of Fenton, City of Linden and Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation supported the local festivities in Linden and Fenton on Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Back to the Bricks Tune Up Party visited Clio and Flint Township. Today, it rolls into Davison and then drives into Richfield Township on Saturday.
Please contact Southern Lakes Parks & Recreation with comments, questions or involvement for next year at (810) 714-2011.