Back to the Bricks Promo Tour Returns

FLINT — Each June, the Promo Tour ushers in a summer of cruising and car shows, offering an opportunity for adventure and camaraderie to hundreds of classic car owners. Back to the Bricks will officially kick off its summertime residency this week, beginning with their 10th annual Promo Tour, which begins tomorrow, June 7, in Davison and will snake its way around the state, ending in Uptown Bay City on June 12.

Thanks to the efforts of Rhonda Rau and her committee, the 10th anniversary of the Promo Tour promises to be another recordbreaking, phenomenal experience as the group of auto enthusiasts revisits some of their favorite host cities along with a few new ones.

Appropriately christened the “Celebration” Promo Tour in honor of the 10th anniversary milestone, the fun begins tomorrow morning, Friday, June 7, with a kick-off breakfast at St. John’s Parish Hall in Davison. The itinerary includes an overnight stay on June 7 in Clare, and two nights (June 8 and 9) in Sault Ste. Marie, giving tour participants more time to explore the oldest city in Michigan, and the surrounding area. From the “Soo,” the group will travel back to the Lower Peninsula with overnight stops in Gaylord on June 10 and West Branch on June 11. This year’s “End of the Road Luncheon” will take place at the brand-new Waterfront in Uptown Bay City on June 12.

According to Back to the Bricks Founder Al Hatch, this year’s Promo Tour has a record number of vehicles and individuals signed up to take the cruise, with approximately 304 cars and more than 600 people. Hatch says that the six-day tour has several purposes: To promote Back to the Bricks; to generate excitement for August’s “Main Event” in downtown Flint; to showcase the unique features of Michigan; and to boost the economy of each of the host cities selected for the Promo Tour.

“This will be the first time in 10 years that we’ve stayed in one city for two nights, which will be in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Hatch. “That decision was made based upon input from a survey we conducted last year. People had suggested that they were in favor of spending a little more time in one of the stops. So this will be a first for us, and with Sault Ste. Marie being Michigan’s oldest city, I think it’ll be a really nice experience for us and for the people of Sault Ste. Marie. They’re really looking forward to having us, and having our tour come through their city. I think all the cities are, for that matter. The economic impact of our tour is pretty significant.”

Founded by Al Hatch more than 10 years ago, Back to the Bricks has grown substantially, and now includes hundreds of registered vehicles, as well as thousands of spectators and automotive aficionados. The main event, which is a showcase for classic, custom and collectible vehicles of all kinds, takes place August 13-17 of this year, but the extravaganza will officially begin with the Promo Tour.

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— Alex Petrie