Back to the Bricks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Back to the Bricks
BeginsAugust 16, 2018 (2018-08-16)
EndsAugust 20, 2018 (2018-08-20)
VenueMoving and
Saginaw Street Downtown
Location(s)Flint, Michigan
InauguratedAugust 2005 (2005-08)
FounderAl Hatch[fj 1]
Previous event
Next event
Activitycruise & show plus
Patron(s)General Motors' Buick brand[fj 2]
Filing status501(c)(3)
PeopleAl Hatch (chair)
Steve Hobson (event coordinator)
MemberBack to the Bricks, Inc.

Back to the Bricks, originally Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches, is an annual car cruise[fj 3] run by a group of the same name. It is one of the events that celebrates the old tradition of teenagers cruising from hangout spot to hangout spot. For Genesee County teens these included A&W, Varsity, Colonel’s and Walli’s, most of which resided on or close to Saginaw Street.[fj 4] Most of the buildings are long gone yet the tradition of cruising continues, especially during five days out of the year at the Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches car cruise. The celebration began as a one-day event in 2005 on Saginaw Street in Flint, Michigan with only a few hundred cars and spectators, and has grown to expand beyond these boundaries. By 2008 Back to the Bricks had rapidly grown to over 25,000 car participants and over 250,000 spectators over a five-day span.[fj 5][fj 6]

The five-day event is structured with the first day having a Kick off party and "Brick Flick" automotive movie seen at the US 23 Drive-in Theatre, at least two days of Rolling Cruise, a Friday night car show & concert and Saturday car show down town.[fj 7] Additional, there is Automotive Pioneers Statue unveiling, "Artomotive" competition, Pinewood Derby race (2012-) and Hot Ride High program.

Back to the Bricks has expanded beyond the events in downtown Flint and Saginaw Street to add other supplementary events: two Satellite cruises, a Promo Tour and the county Tune Ups.[1][fj 8] Back to the Bricks is a part of Autopalooza August[fj 3] and one of the Flint Parade of Festivals.[2] The event has also inspired the names for other events in the City of Flint like Fish On The Bricks (since 2004),[fj 9] Bikes on the Bricks (since 2007),[fj 10] and Tractors on the Bricks (2017).[fj 11]


Dates cars people
2009 25,000 250,000[fj 12]
August 17–21, 2010[fj 12]

In 2005 the first Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches celebration was held under Flint’s newly renovated brick street and reinstalled arches. The celebration was held on the same day as another local car cruise, the A&W monthly cruise in Flushing, Michigan, and the Woodward Dream Cruise in Oakland County, Michigan. The goal of this scheduling was to hopefully have spectators from the local area to “cruise" once again from the Flushing hotspot to the Flint event. Another goal was for spectators attending the Woodward Avenue Dream car cruise to stop by the Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches car cruise on the way to and or from the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise.[fj 13]

During the first year the Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches car cruise had about less than 1,000 spectators in attendance and less than that number of cars. The events within the celebration consisted of only official the car cruise.[fj 14] The following year the celebration added another day and packed another event into its schedule. These new events this year were a cruise in from various areas in the county and the official cruise.[fj 15] With the spike in the number of events came the spike in the number or attendants. It is estimated that a total of 1000 cars and spectators attended the second year of the event.[fj 16]

By 2007 the Back to the Bricks had celebrated its third year. With the new addition of another day and one more day the celebration brought in a larger crowd. This Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches celebration brought in about 1000 cars and 1500 more spectators that the previous year.[fj 17] The events for this go around consisted of the newly added rolling cruise, the cruise in, and the official cruise.[fj 18] With the rolling cruise came support from local businesses. Many of these served as stops for the rolling cruise and also offered deals for cruisers.[fj 19] Yet again the cruise expanded in the following year. After the cruise became a four-day celebration. The event added this year was an additional rolling cruise.[fj 20] An estimated 125,000 spectators and 3,000 cars were figured to be in attendance.[fj 5][fj 21]

In November 2007, the organization hired an executive director, Tanya Lane.[fj 22] For the first time in its three-year history the cruise received national television coverage by the Speed Channel. On February 24, 2008, and February 26, 2008, the channel released a collection of stories and footage from the 2007 Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches Celebration. This served as the introduction of My Classic Car’s new season.[fj 23] Since this other media coverage of the event has been made including a recent article in Old Cars Weekly about the car clubs featured in the cruise.[fj 24]

With the 2008 event, the rolling cruise portion was extended to two days with 32 official stops and added a Women's Expo. The cruise extend from Mega Coney Island, 401 King Avenue, downtown Flint to Food Castle supermarket, 16853 Dixie Highway, Groveland Township in northern Oakland County.[fj 22]

In 2009, it was the Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches scar cruise’s 5th anniversary. As a milestone in the event's history it was also added to Autopalooza August. This included joining with the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise to which it was originally made to compliment. The join is hoped to give more publicity to the celebration. In addition to this the celebration again expanded with a day and the events of a drive-in screening of the movie Cars and the Buckham Alley Bash. This is significantly different from previous years in the way that these events were hosted mostly by area restaurants and the local drive-in.[fj 3] With an attendance of more than 125,000 spectators and a car count of 3,000, the Back to the Bricks and Under the Arches more than quintupled its attendance and expectations which it first had.

In June 2010, a promotional tour was sent out to the Lincoln Highway.[3] In 2011, the organization held its second promotional tour, Michigan Mitten Promotional Tour, in June and its first set of “tuneup” events.[fj 1] In July 2011, the Back to the Bricks, Inc. started plans to create a dozen statues of historic auto and labor figures and place them in Flint's downtown and college campus areas starting with Louis Chevrolet.[fj 25] Don Garlits, a "drag racing icon", made appearances at all the major events of the 2011 cruise.[4]

Added to the 2012 event was Pinewood Derby race sponsored by the Boy Scouts, GM and Thomas Appliance.[5] At the opening of the 2013 event and unveiling of the Durant statue, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss confirmed GM's purchase of the Durant-Dort Carriage Factory One and office building on Water Street with plans to restore them with local universities help.[fj 26]

Added to the event in 2013 was the first "Artomotive" competition, where artist work with the base item of a car hood. The contest was created by the Greater Flint Arts Council and the Flint & Genesee Convention and Visitors Bureau to be a fundraiser for the statues fund.[fj 27]

At the ended of the 2013 main event, Back to the Bricks founder and chair Hatch transferred chairmanship of the main event to Roberta Vasilow so as to spend more time on the statue project and chair next year's promotional tour. Vasilow served previously as chair, website and the gate committee (2009) then lead the Tune Up Party Week in 2011 followed by chairing the promotional tour in 2013.[fj 28] Also, the City of Flint indicated that it would not cover police patrols for which they received a few years of a C.S. Mott Foundation Grant to cover. Thus the organization was considering change the event format to another night of cruising on Friday night.[fj 7]

On December 8, 2013, General Motors announced five years of financial support for Back to the Bricks including the promotion tours and the Tune-Up Week.[fj 2] MSN Autos has declared Back to the Bricks a "Best auto events of 2014".[6] On January 16, 2014, the Back to the Bricks announced new franchised satellite cruises in Cadillac and Mount Pleasant in conjunction with their Visitors Bureaus after having been stops on the Promo Tours for the last two years and not on the 2014 tours.[1] In May 2014, the organization and Music in the Parks announced that the Friday night concert would be moved to the General Motors Weld Tool Center located in both the city and township of Grand Blanc for safety concerns and the end of the Friday night show. While the Flint Symphony Orchestra indicated that they would keep their performance downtown, but in front of Flint City Hall, with Flash Cadillac.[fj 29]

With the 2015 event, the Hot Ride High program debuted initiated by Dale Frey.[7] At their December 3, 2015, press conference, the organization announced their 2016 promo tour and a new winter auto show, Chrome and Ice, for 2016.[fj 30]

Series events[edit]

Chrome and Ice[edit]

Chrome and Ice will be the Back to the Bricks winter indoor car show held in mid-February at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center and like the main event is sponsored by Buick.[fj 30]

The idea for the winter show stemmed the Back to the Bricks yearly promotional booth at the Autorama car show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. BtB board wanted Flint to have a similar experience. At their December 3, 2015 press conference, the organization announced their first Chrome and Ice winter auto show for February 12-13, 2016. The inaugural event is planned to have a summertime feel with sand and palm trees brought in to compliment it entertainment, a California beach boy band.[fj 30]

For the second Chrome and Ice, the event took over both arenas at the Dort event center. Also, the time opened expanded with a preview party on Thursday night

Promo Tours[edit]

Promo Tour
BeginsJune 8, 2018 (2018-06-08)
EndsJune 13, 2018 (2018-06-13)
InauguratedJune 20, 2010 (2010-06-20)
FounderAl Hatch[fj 1]
Previous eventChrome and Ice
Next eventCadillac Back to the Bricks
Participants182[fj 30]
Activitycruise & car show

The Promo Tours, or promotional tours, are when classic auto are driven around through a series of overnight stop with mini car shows.[fj 8]

  • Lincoln Highway Road Trip (June 20-,2010) 25 cars left Flint on June 20, 2010 to head to Lincoln Highway joining up with the highway at Lima, Ohio with a couple of cars having car issues on the first day.[fj 12][3][8]
  • Michigan Mitten Promotional Tour (June 17–24, 2011) was an eight-day trip for 125 persons around the perimeter of the Lower Peninsula with stops in Port Huron, Bay City, Alpena, Mackinaw City, Traverse City, Ludington, Holland and Brooklyn.[fj 1]
  • Heart of Michigan (June 15–22, 2012) had about 200 cars with stops in Mt. Pleasant, Traverse City, Cadillac, Grand Rapids, Sturgis.[fj 31]
  • Lakeshore to Lakeshore (June 7–12, 2013) with communities lobbying to be on the tour, Cadillac, Oscoda, Mt. Pleasant and Hart's Asparagus Festival Parade, Rockford and West Branch were selected as stops. Also, several tours were arranged of: Cooper Standard Automotive, Langley Powder Coating, Yankee Air Museum, Kalitta Air, Melvin Motorcycle Museum and Phoenix Composite Solutions.[fj 32]
  • Michiana[1][fj 8] (June 20–24, 2014)
  • West Side (June 12-16, 2015) Battle Creek, Whitehall, Manistee, Boyne City, and West Branch[fj 33]
  • Friendship (June 10-15, 2016) Flint, Ypsilanti, Port Huron, East Tawas, Grayling, West Branch and Birch Run[fj 30]
  • Heritage (June 10-15, 2017) Clare, Big Rapids, Muskegon, Coldwater, Adrian[9] and Fenton[fj 34]
  • Mighty Mac and Back (June 8-13, 2018) first tour to cross the Mackinaw Bridge with stops in Mt. Pleasant, Gaylord, Petoskey, St. Ignace and East Tawas[fj 35]

Satellite cruises[edit]

  • Cadillac held the first satellite Back to the Bricks event for two days on June 8–9, 2014. It began 11 AM with an opening ceremony then figure 8 cruise around Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell followed by a Poker run with a dozen locations. Saturday ended with a Sock hop. Sunday was formatted as a car show with voting for People's Choice winner, a mayor's favorite, sponsors' favorite and three panel judges' top three. The event involved 400 registered cars.[fj 36]
  • Mount Pleasant[1][fj 8]With the city being left off the promo tour for 2014, the Mount Pleasant Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau signed a licensing agreement to hold their own event for the year to be held on July 11 and 12.[10] This event was canceled for 2015.[11]

Tune Ups[edit]

In 2010, a test "Tune Up" was run in Davison. In 2011, the Back to the Brick organization started its more local "tune up" series of events that occur in Genesee County lead up to the main event. Five communities, Clio, Flint Township, Linden/Fenton, Davison and Richfield Township had the first set up of Tune Ups each on a separated day from August 9–13, 2011.[fj 37]

Automotive Pioneers Statue Fund[edit]

Statue Year placed Location
Louis Chevrolet 2012[12] Bricks Statue Plaza
David Buick November 27, 2012[fj 38]
William C. Durant 2013[fj 26]
Walter P. Chrysler September 9, 2013[fj 39] Bishop Airport
Charles Nash
Otto P. Graff (pioneering car dealer) 2014 Corner of S. Saginaw and E. Court St. (at the former site of the first Graff car dealership)[fj 40]
Albert Champion
C.S. Mott
Walter P. Reuther
Victor G. Reuther[fj 25]

The Automotive Pioneers Statue Fund was established in July 2011 to create a dozen statues of historic auto and labor figures and place them in Flint's downtown and college campus areas starting with Louis Chevrolet.[fj 25] The fund's goal is $500,000 and 15 statues[fj 41] later eight at the cost of $40,000 each with granite base and the installation comes in at $20,000 per statue.[fj 42]

At the announcement of the fund on July 21, 2011, two statues were already ordered, Louis Chevrolet and David Buick.[fj 41] Diplomat Pharmacy and organization organized the Million Dollar Motorway fundraising event to kick off fundraising for the Automotive Pioneer Fund during the 2011 Back to the Bricks on August 17. The event was held at Diplomat headquarters with collector vehicles worth over $2 million at $30 a person. Amongst the cars were a 1933 Auburn Model 8, a rare Watson-Hurst Camaro and Eva Peron owned Packard.[fj 41]

On Saginaw Street between Kearsley and First Streets, a memorial mini-park, called Bricks Statue Plaza, for the first few statues was construction out of the part of a parking lot in July 2012 with mostly donated labor and materials.[fj 43][fj 42] The first statue to place in the mini-park was Louis Chevrolet in August. On December 1, the David Buick statue was unveiled at the statue plaza.[12]

On August 13, 2012, Back to the Bricks held a fundraiser for the Statue Fund called American Muscle Motorway at which the money was raised by plaza brick sales, the $15 event fee and donations. Which the event got from Attentive Industries $40,000, enough for the event goal, the cost of another statue.[fj 42]

The founder of GM, William Durant ended up being the third statue produced and was placed at the Saginaw statue park at the opening of the 2013 Back to the Bricks with several speakers.[fj 26] The next two statues of Chrysler and Nash are to be placed at the Bishop Airport.[fj 44]

Hot Ride High[edit]

Hot Ride High program allowed youth and young adult to learn about jobs in car mechanics or body repair and to the collecting car hobby. Organizers plan to have the program to be a year round program through the various local colleges, Baker College, Mott Community College, Kettering University and University of Michigan–Flint.[7]

Hot Ride High was conceived of by Dale Frey. Frey recruited in 2010 Bob Ayre, a welding instructor at Baker College, who became one of the high's organizers. The program was first held in 2015 for which a couple of thousand interested youth passed through the program's display. In 2016, the display was more hands on and included representatives from area colleges.[7]

Preceded by
Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise
Autopalooza Succeeded by
Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Weekend
Preceded by
Flint Jazz Festival
Flint Parade of Festivals Succeeded by
Free City Festival


  1. ^ a b c d Betti, Justin (January 16, 2014). "Back to the Bricks to hold events in Cadillac, Mount Pleasant". WJRT, Inc. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Ketchum III, William E. (June 7, 2014). "Parade of Festivals has 20 reasons to come to downtown Flint this summer". The Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Gatlin, Karen (June 20, 2010). "Day one in the Back to the Bricks Lincoln Highway trip". ABC, Inc. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  4. ^ raustin (August 9, 2011). "'Big Daddy' Garlits headlines Back to the Bricks". Old Cars Weekly. F+W Publications. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  5. ^ G., G. (August 8, 2013). "Pinewood Derby build, race event returns to Back to the Bricks". Swartz Creek View. JAMS Media/View Newspapers. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Best auto events of 2014". MSN Auto. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Rosbury, Allison (August 1, 2016). "Hot Rod HighFlint's GearHeads". My City Mag. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  8. ^ Saturday kicks off the Lincoln Highway Road Trip.
  9. ^ "Car enthusiasts pick up registration packets for annual Back to the Brick Promotional Tour". ABC12. Gray TV. June 1, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  10. ^ Shaffer, Randi (June 15, 2014). "Back to the Bricks to hit Mt. Pleasant July 11 and 12". The Morning Sun. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Stafford, Eric (June 17, 2015). "Upcoming mid-Michigan cruises and car shows". The Morning Sun. Michigan Newspapers. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  12. ^ a b raustin (December 17, 2012). "Statue unveiled: Buick stands tall in Michigan". Old Cars Weekly. F+W Publications. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  1. ^ a b c d "Participants gearing up for Back to the Bricks Michigan Mitten Promo Tour". May 20, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Atkinson, Scott. "General Motors makes five-year financial commitment to Back to the Bricks". Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Roach, Theresa N. (April 23, 2009). "Back to the Bricks linking with Woodward". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  4. ^ "Meet your neighbor: Al Hatch, chairman of Back to the Bricks, Flint's nationally recognized classic car show and cruise". January 1, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Abercrombie, Shena. "Flint’s bricks loaded with car, people".
  6. ^ DeFever, Dana. "Crowds for Back to the Bricks surge to 250,000". 19 August 2008.
  7. ^ a b Atkinson, Scott (June 9, 2014). "Back to the Bricks might cancel Friday car show, add a night of cruising". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Atkinson, Scott (June 6, 2014). "Back to the Bricks: Car show franchises to two Michigan cities, expands tour out of state". Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  9. ^ Ketchum III, William E. (June 7, 2014). "Fish the Bricks tournament attracts more than 60 participants during Free Fishing Weekend". Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Turner, Kris (September 22, 2011). "Bikes on the Bricks hits downtown Flint this weekend, revs up business for restaurants". Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  11. ^ Millard, Shannon (June 14, 2017). "Back to the Bricks promo tour cruises into Fenton". Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Back to the Bricks boosters take off for Lincoln Highway to promote Flint car festival". June 20, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  13. ^ Miller, James M. (August 28, 2005). "Downtown cruise worth a cartwheel".
  14. ^ Swiatecki, Chad. (August 21, 2005). "Car cruise offers room to maneuver". The Flint Journal, Flint.
  15. ^ Miller, James M. "’Woodward Day’ cruise expanding", 3 August 2006.
  16. ^ Miller, James M. "Cars keep making way to Flint". 27 August 2006.
  17. ^ Miller, James M. "Back to the Bricks revving up ideas for more downtown events". 22 August 2007.
  18. ^ Miller, James M. "Back to the Bricks real deal for cruisers, viewers". 7 August 2007.
  19. ^ Miller, James M. "Bricks car cruise keeps on growing". 12 August 2007.
  20. ^ Miller, James M. "Bricks cruise will grow yet again". 27 September 2007.
  21. ^ DeFever, Dana. "Crowds for Back to the Bricks surge to 125,000". August 19, 2008.
  22. ^ a b Rauschert, Jeff (August 7, 2008). "Back to the Bricks organizers add to growing extravaganza". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  23. ^ Burden, Melissa. "Back to the Bricks to shine in Speed Channel’s spotlight". February 2008.
  24. ^ "Meet your neighbor: Al Hatch, chairman of Back to the Bricks, Flint's nationally recognized classic car show and cruise". January 1, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c AlHajal, Khalil (July 21, 2011). "Back to the Bricks organizers envision Flint statues paying tribute to auto, labor figures". Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  26. ^ a b c "See statue of GM founder Billy Durant unveiled at Back To The Bricks". August 17, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  27. ^ Atkinson, Scott (May 23, 2013). "Art mixes with cars for first 'Artomotive' art contest in Flint's Back to the Bricks". Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  28. ^ Ketchum III, William E. (August 14, 2013). "Back to the Bricks: Event next year becomes one of the few car shows with a woman at the wheel". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  29. ^ Atkinson, Scott (May 15, 2014). "Flint Symphony Orchestra will stay in downtown Flint for Back to the Bricks concert". Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  30. ^ a b c d e Ketchum III, William E. (December 3, 2015). "Back to the Bricks announces new indoor winter car show, promo tour cities". Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  31. ^ "Back to the Bricks heads into 'Heart of Michigan' for statewide cruising tour". June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  32. ^ Atkinson, Scott (July 10, 2013). "Back to the Bricks announces 'Lakeshore to Lakeshore' promotional tour". Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  33. ^ Atkinson, Scott (December 16, 2014). "Back to the Bricks announces 'West Side Promo Tour' for 2015". Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  34. ^ Millard, Shannon (June 14, 2017). "Back to the Bricks promo tour cruises into Fenton". Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  35. ^ Goodin-Smith, Oona (December 7, 2017). "Buckle your seatbelts for this year's Back to the Bricks car show, tour lineup". Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  36. ^ Ketchum III, William E. (June 9, 2014). "First Back To The Bricks franchised event attracts about 400 cars, organizers say". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  37. ^ Confer, Karen (August 4, 2011). "Local communities to hold Back to the Bricks Tune Up parties". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  38. ^ Atkinson, Scott (July 10, 2013). "Chevrolet statue gets company in downtown Flint". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  39. ^ Atkinson, Scott (July 11, 2013). "Statue of Walter P. Chrysler is in Flint, awaits move to Bishop Airport". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  40. ^ Atkinson, Scott (August 16, 2014). "Back to the Bricks: Family of auto pioneer Otto P. Graff unveils his statue". Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  41. ^ a b c AlHajal, Khalil (July 21, 2011). "Back to the Bricks organizers and Diplomat Pharmacy announce effort for Flint auto pioneer statues". Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  42. ^ a b c Allen, Jeremy (August 14, 2012). "Surprise donation helps Back to the Bricks Automotive Pioneer Statue Fundraiser exceed goal". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  43. ^ Byron, Shaun (July 19, 2012). "comments Businesses come together to create park in Flint for Chevrolet, Buick statues". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  44. ^ Atkinson, Scott (July 11, 2013). "Statue of Walter P. Chrysler is in Flint, awaits move to Bishop Airport". Retrieved June 24, 2014.

External links[edit]