‘Motor City Car Crawl’ coming to downtown Detroit in August
Detroit – After canceling the North American International Auto Show for the second straight year, the Detroit Area Dealers Association is planning an outdoor car crawl ride with the Downtown Detroit Partnership.
The two will host the Motor City Car Crawl, a walk-in charity event across the city that begins Thursday, August 5 through Sunday, August 8, at 12:00 noon. Dealers in the Detroit area will be introducing new vehicles in six downtown parks including Beacon Park, Cadillac, Campus Martius, Capitol Park, Grand Circus Park and Spirit Plaza.
The new event was announced on Wednesday, a few months after the fall 2021 auto show was postponed due to pandemic issues. The first summer auto show in Detroit, which was scheduled for June 2020 after years in January, was also canceled due to the pandemic.
The last auto show took place in January 2019. The auto show includes a charity event that didn’t happen even with the pandemic.
“The charities always had a great opportunity to raise some cash at the auto show,” Rod Alberts, executive director of DADA, told The Detroit News. “It’s been a couple of years and the charities have been going through tough times. We just wanted to do an event in town and try to do two things … raise some money for charities we worked with in the past and second, we can help get the city and restaurants and shops going. “
With the pandemic “just didn’t seem on the cards to do anything indoors” in 2021, Alberts said. The association is still working on its plans to resume the indoor and outdoor car exhibition in autumn 2022.
“But … why wait so long,” he said. “Now let’s try to do some things.”
In addition to the Motor City Car Crawl, those responsible for the association are planning a Motor Bella event in the M1 hall in Pontiac in September.
“In my world and after a show like we’ve been doing for so many years, it worked really well and it’s fun, but why not do some new things along the way,” said Alberts. “Even the Detroit Auto Show could be reinterpreted and we can make it new, exciting and great for the city.”
Detroit officials were concerned about the auto show’s cancellation in 2021, as it is estimated that the show generates around $ 400 million in economic activity each year.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement on the Car Crawl that he was “grateful” to the DADA and DDP leaders for “launching this wonderful charity that will benefit those in our community who we support need.”
The hope is that some of the lost economic impact of the auto show cancellations will return. National estimates suggest that one in five small downtown businesses “will be permanently lost,” said Eric Larson, CEO of the partnership after the pandemic.
“We anticipate that this event, along with a number of other downtown activation measures, will continue to support those businesses that are so hard hit by the pandemic in the warmer months and much less during the year,” he said.
So far, the partnership and the association have only planned this year for the car crawl. Additional plans for the event have not yet been decided.
“These details are still being worked out,” said Larson.
But he said, “Whether it’s the Motor City Car Crawl or the more traditional auto show, there will always be an auto event that really creates that kind of downtown excitement.”
Larson has “no doubt” that the club “has every intention of continuing to support an auto show”.
“I think it is evolving like everything,” he said, adding that Detroit has the ability to support a show outside of a stationary venue.
The car crawl will feature local food trucks, drink stations, and family entertainment.
A ticketed charity will be held on Saturday, August 7th, with live entertainment to raise funds for eight child charities in Detroit, including boys and girls clubs in southeast Michigan, Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, Children’s Center, Children’s Foundation, Detroit PAL, Judson Center, March of Dimes Metro Detroit, and CS Mott University of Michigan Children’s Hospital.
Ticket prices and the list of entertainment on offer for the charity event will be announced shortly. The vehicle ads and entertainment are free all weekend.