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Clinton Twp. Gratiot Cruise gets head start on vintage vehicle celebration

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI. – Organizers of this year's Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise just couldn't wait to roll out the classic car fun, so they are starting the pre-cruise car shows one week early.

In the past, the static car shows would be held during the week leading up to the cruise, but this year the shows are spaced out over a two-week period.

And two more have been added to the calendar prior to the Aug. 4 event, said Paul Silvestri, the cruise spokesman.

"We talked to a number of people who wanted us to have more shows," Silvestri said. "But at the same time, the committee decided that having five during that week was too much. So we've added more and spread them out."

Now in its 17th year, the Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise is Macomb County's largest procession of hot rods, muscle cars and other wheeled contraptions that gather on Gratiot Avenue between 14 Mile and Wellington Crescent. That route was once home to those same sort of cars back in the 1960s and 1970s.

The cruise, held the first Sunday in August, typically attracts about 150,000 people.

But even if you're not a car enthusiast, the cruise presents a street party filled with free live entertainment, attractions, sidewalks sales and loads of people-watching at various bars, diners, auto dealerships and other businesses along the 2.5-mile route.

The static car shows begin Monday at Fern Hill Golf Club.

"This year, we're touching every corner of the township with one of our car shows," Silvestri said. "So we're using this event to not only attract car lovers, but also to spotlight the community as well."

Melissa Sumyk, sales director for the Fern Hill Golf Club, says plans have been underway for weeks now to make the kick-off cruise show top-notch.

"We'll have a beverage cart outside, along with a grill for hot dogs and hamburgers," she said. "And we also have our bar, Floodz Bar and Grill, with even more food such as appetizers, salads, burgers and pizza available for sale."

The car show lineup includes:

  • Monday - Fern Hill Golf Club, 17600 Clinton River Road
  • Wednesday, July 17 - Hennessey's Pub + Kitchen, 42012 Hayes Road
  • Friday, July 19 - Clinton Township Civic Center, 40700 Romeo Plank Road
  • Wednesday, July 24 - Alibi Inn, 33025 S. Gratiot Avenue
  • Friday, July 26 - Gratiot Pub, 34005 S. Gratiot Avenue
  • Wednesday, July 31 - Sanders Candy, 23770 Hall Road
  • Thursday, August 1 - Stray Cat Lounge, 40813 Garfield Road

This year's grand marshal will be Brig. General John D. Slocum, retired commander of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Slocum joins past honorees such as Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Clinton Township Police Chief Fred Posavetz, World War II Army-Air Force veteran and former president of the Clinton Township Historical Society Don Green and former Detroit Red Wings farm team player John "Mr. B" Burnosky.

The Gratiot Cruise starts on Aug. 4 with a children’s pedal car race on Gratiot at the northeast corner of Gratiot at Metropolitan Parkway. Local businesses sponsor the kids' race cars.

As the event gained traction over the years, more businesses and nonprofits from other sections of the township sought to participate as it has grown into a celebration of Clinton Township.

The Dorian Ford Family Fun Zone, in front of AMC Theaters on Gratiot north of 15 Mile Road, will have a variety of non-profits, public service agencies, inflatables and refreshments on cruise day.

A number of businesses along the Gratiot strip will host free live entertainment and sell refreshments, while others will host sidewalk sales.

The cruise runs noon-6 p.m.

For more information, visit ctgratiotcruise.com.

17th Annual Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise Set for August 4, 2019

Biggest and Best Event in Macomb County expects well over 200,000

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI. – Voted the Best Big Event in Macomb County, this year’s Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise anticipates large crowds and thousands of classics. So join in on the fun as Clinton Township shows off its love for classic cars, promotes local businesses, and encourages a sense of community by welcoming all to this family-fun event.

More than 200,000 people and thousands of classic cars are expected to line up Gratiot Avenue from 14 mile to Wellington Crescent, north of Metropolitan Parkway through Clinton Township.

Known as one of the biggest and best family cruises around, the Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise will be even better this year. Along with the thousands of classic cars, there will be plenty for everyone to take part in on the Gratiot strip.

Prior to the cruise there are multiple Pre-Cruise Car Shows hosted at various businesses throughout Clinton Township. On Cruise Day spectators can expect to see thousands of street rods, hot rods, classics, race cars, pace cars, muscle cars, and trucks. There are plenty of fun things to do and see on cruise day for people of all ages.

For more details on cruise events visit online at www.ctgratiotcruise.com.