FLINT (WJRT) -
(08/13/14) - The tenth anniversary edition of Back to the Bricks is well underway.
Officially, the cruise began 5 p.m. Wednesday, but we spotted a handful of classic cars rolling along the bricks early.
Back to the Bricks typically brings in around 40,000 cars, not to mention upwards of 600,000 people.
These cruisers and spectators are coming in from not just across Mid-Michigan, but from all across North America. In fact, Tuesday night, we even met someone visiting from Montreal.
We also found a big group of out-of-town cruisers taking an early morning drive Wednesday, and for 10 years now, they've all made Back to the Bricks and a trip to Flint a big part of their summer vacation plans.
"I'm from north Fort Myers, Florida. This is a nice winter day for me and I am cold. It's just like running up and down the road when I was 15 or 16 years old with these old hot rods and we love it. We come back every year and spend a week in the motel and spend lots of money," said Jesse Gargus, visiting from Florida.
"All the cars here, the people bring the cars, but the cars bring the people. It's just a great hobby and we have a great time, and wouldn't miss it for the world," said Howard Smith, visiting from Indiana.
There's so much to take in Wednesday as part of the Back to the Bricks tenth anniversary celebration. The first official rolling cruise will travel through downtown Flint, Burton and Grand Blanc. Also, the big mega-lots will be open and filled with cars along Saginaw Street.
At 6 p.m., the Graff 100th anniversary celebration begins at the Riverfront Banquet Center. We also saw bars and restaurants on Saginaw Street loading up on food and beer Wednesday morning, all in anticipation of what's typically their four biggest money making days of the year.
The alley behind Blackstones has never been busier. Wednesday of Back to the Bricks week is hands down the restaurant and pub's busiest delivery day of the year.
"We've doubled up on everything. It's just a huge day," said Patti Bergstrom, Blackstone's general manager.
With cruisers beginning to roll along Saginaw Street, Blackstone's is loading up on thousands and thousands of pounds of just about anything you can eat.
"We have just 1,000 eight ounce hamburgers for the chamber party alone tomorrow night," Bergstrom said.
Don't forget about the drinks. Kegs and cases of beer and wine have been coming in by the truckload.
"This is our whole theory of we'd rather have too much than not enough. We're upping it a little bit just to be prepared," Bergstrom said.
Over at Churchill's, Nadine Cook and her staff spent the morning working hard in the kitchen, all in anticipation of huge crowds with Wednesday's cruise.
"Today is showtime. From Wednesday right through the end of the week, we will be triple prepping, we have triple the amount of food coming in," she said.
As far as beer goes, Churchill's has been busy unloading one of its biggest orders ever.
"We actually have to get a trailer that we use just for this event to hold all the cases, kegs, and cans of beer that we have strictly for this event," Cook said.
The hope is that they've ordered enough - especially with nearly 600,000 people expected to make their way downtown over the next few days.
"That should get us through the weekend, and if not on Friday, we'll be calling for a Saturday delivery, and we hope it's necessary," Cook said.