FRANKENMUTH (WJRT) -
(09/04/14) - The thirty-first annual Frankenmuth Auto Fest doesn't actually begin until Friday, but dozens of cruisers were already rolling through Little Bavaria early Thursday morning.
"We're pumped up. This is an adrenaline rush, we're ready to go," said Tony D'Anna, Frankenmuth Auto Fest co-chair.
Several unofficial kickoff parties are planned for Thursday on the north end of town.
"We'll have all of our neighboring businesses with parking lots full of cars. We'll have music going," D'Anna said.
Hotel reservations in Frankenmuth and Birch Run are hard to come by this weekend, with the big rush of tourists expected to arrive on Friday.
"There'll be 80 to 100,000 people on Main Street for a great party with a lot of great food, 10 bands playing on the streets," D'Anna said.
Two feature concerts are planned for Saturday in Heritage Park, headlined by Phil Dirt and the Dozers, along with Billy Mac and the Juke Joint Johnnies. The entire weekend serves as a big fund raiser for a variety of groups across Saginaw County.
This year's Auto Fest is in honor of one of the event's founders, Darwin Bierlein, who passed away in July.
"He had this car here, a 1965 GTO. Had it since 1998. Never been on the road. We fixed it up for his family and we're going to drive it down Main Street as the first car," said John Compton, Frankenmuth Auto Fest co-chair.
One thing that makes Frankenmuth's show unique is that all registered vehicles had to have been made prior to 1979. All of these cars that have rolled into Frankenmuth come with a story.