Back to the Bricks events return to Flint

Back to the Bricks held its Tune-Up parties this week across Genesee County to get ready for the big event starting next week. This Tune-Up party happened at John’s Pizzeria in Davison Township, Aug. 9. For more photos see page 16 inside today’s Genesee County View. Photo by Gary Gould

Back to the Bricks held its Tune-Up parties this week across Genesee County to get ready for the big event starting next week. This Tune-Up party happened at John’s Pizzeria in Davison Township, Aug. 9. For more photos see page 16 inside today’s Genesee County View. Photo by Gary Gould

Editor’s Note: View Newspaper Group is a proud sponsor of Back to the Bricks and the official publisher of the Back to the Bricks Event Guide, which can be found in today’s newspaper. Check out the Event Guide for a full schedule and much, much more.

FLINT — Each year, around this time, Back to the Bricks Founder Al Hatch and the event’s planning committee are gearing up for the countless automotive activities. Last year, however, was a little different. Thanks to COVID-19 and the restrictions that came with it, the annual car show and each of its individual events were canceled in response to the virus and the mounting infection rate. This year, the annual event is back – and better than ever.

Hatch and the planning committee take great pride in the size and scope of Back to the Bricks and how far it reaches. The event, offering free family-friendly activities for Genesee County and surrounding communities, kicked off in downtown Flint with its annual Tune-Up Week, which began Monday, Aug. 9. Next week marks the Main Event Week, with daily events leading up to Saturday’s show.

Having founded the seminal annual experience 17 years ago, Hatch says he had no idea that it would one day grow to its current size, attracting hundreds of thousands of guests each year, stimulating the local economy in Flint and providing a fun and family-friendly atmosphere throughout the city.

Historically, Back to the Bricks has grown to attract nearly half a million automotive enthusiasts each year. Attendees make the pilgrimage to Vehicle City to celebrate their love of cars and Flint’s historic role in the evolution of the automotive industry. Tune-Up Parties and Promo Tours, which lead up to the Main Event, help to generate interest and enthusiasm for the festival, which provides a showcase for classic, custom, and collectible vehicles of all makes and models.

Now that the main event is revving up, a number of events and activities to help kick things off will officially begin, which started on Monday evening with the first of the Tune-Up Parties. The nightly events take place on successive days. Attractions and activities vary by location, but include parties with a ‘50s, ‘60s, or ‘70s theme, concessions, vendors, live music, dancing in the streets, giveaways and the opportunity to share stories with fellow car show enthusiasts from around the area.

The five-day main event extravaganza begins Monday, Aug. 16. Excited crowds will line the streets for the “Rolling Cruises.” Thousands will stroll the brick streets to admire vehicles of every age and description, take pictures, buy souvenirs and enjoy the fun.

“It’s going to be a really great week for Flint and Genesee County,” said Hatch. “We attract people from up to 1,500 miles away, not to mention all the people from Michigan and the surrounding areas. It’s pretty great.”

For more information, check out the Back to the Bricks website at www.backtothebricks.org and check out the Event Guide, which will detail the schedule for this year’s event.

— Alex Petrie