Clinton TownshipAugust 6, 2012
Clinton Township cruise marks 10th year
By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — All years, makes and models were on display Aug. 5, circling Gratiot from 14 Mile to Wellington Crescent during the 10th annual Clinton Township Gratiot Cruise.
Always held on the first Sunday in August, the Clinton Township cruise boasted a wide range of vehicles, from classics to muscle cars and race cars, to hot rods and street rods, to pace cars and unique vehicles you won’t find anywhere else.
“We have a great merger,” said cruise committee chairperson Shanon Rupkus. “It’s in appreciation of the vehicles and how they’ve evolved.”
Rain in the morning threatened to slow turnout, but the clouds had turned to sunny skies by the noon start time. The cruise ran until about 6 p.m.
For the 40 or so volunteers who organize the cruise, particularly the cruise committee, planning the annual event is a year-round activity.
“We have our wrap-up meeting for the 2012 cruise this Wednesday (Aug. 8), and then we have our first meeting for the 2013 cruise Saturday morning (Aug. 11),” Rupkus said.
And that doesn’t include the dozens of volunteers who help out on the day of the cruise. The event is entirely self-funded, thanks in large part to local business sponsorships. Major sponsors this year include McLaren Macomb, Dorian Ford, Moran Chevrolet, the Alibi Inn, Macomb Community College and others.
Thirty-seven businesses and organizations were represented at the midway, which for the second year was located in front of the business plaza north of 15 Mile. All along the route, businesses hosted their own parties.
Many spectators pulled up lawn chairs just to watch from the roadside. But for the cruisers themselves, it can be about the people just as much as the cars.
Jill Magrie, of Clinton Township, said she sees friends at the cruise she doesn’t see any other time of year.
“They know where we’re at; they know the car; and they come and stop by,” she said.
She and her husband, Pete, have cruised their fourth-generation, 1997 Camaro SS for as long as the event has been running.
“We get to sit here and watch everybody else’s ride. We come out and stay the whole day — just talk and see what new gadgets they have on their cars,” she added. “It’s really a lot of fun.”
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