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July 30, 2014

Organizers pleased with Roseville cruise’s second year

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Roseville seems to be in the grips of a time warp July 26 as classic cars make their way past the Apollo Bowling Center on Gratiot, north of 12 Mile Road.
A Mustang speeds along Gratiot in Roseville.
Powerful vehicles of yesterday mix with modern cars on Gratiot during Roseville’s cruise July 26.
Car buffs take a look under the hood of a classic car parked in the Comerica lot at Gratiot and Martin during the second annual Roseville Gratiot Cruise July 26.
 

The Roseville Gratiot Cruise has grown in its second year, something organizers are looking at as a positive sign for the event’s future.

Marketing Manager Amelia Hinds said that it was a “step in the right direction” and brought out what she estimated July 26 was 10,000 people, with about 300 classic cars parked in lots along Gratiot Avenue. As the cruise itself was open in all lanes and mixed with traffic, she said she was unable to guess how many cars were on the road throughout the day.

Hinds said the only complaint she heard from anyone is that the police were busy making sure people moved along where they were supposed to, which is something outside of the cruise committee’s jurisdiction.

Lou Comaianni, of Clinton Township, was at the cruise with his 1964 Ford Falcon station wagon and said he had been to the inaugural cruise in 2013 as well as this year’s. He said he enjoyed seeing the cars and meeting the classic car enthusiasts, and he added that it was nice to have Roseville involved in doing a cruise, even though turnout seemed a little lighter as of the early afternoon.

Hinds said turnout did pick up as the day went on, but she attributed the perception of fewer people to the cruise being spread between three miles this year instead of the two miles it covered last year. She did think a few things worked against the cruise that depressed turnout on the whole.

“I understand that if there’s even a hint of rain in the forecast, a lot of people won’t pull cars out of the garage. I think it could have been better if we didn’t have that forecast lurking,” she said. “There were also four other big events going on the same day … so I think attendance was impacted not just from the weather but all those events.”

Other events going on July 26 included the Aquapalooza in Sterling Heights, the Telegraph Cruise, Harley Fest and the Concours d’Elegance.

Linda Numerick, of Eastpointe, said this was the first year she and her husband, Mike, had come to the cruise. While they enjoy classic cars, she said the only other cruise they have gotten to see has been the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“We used to go to the Woodward cruise when it started, but now it’s so big,” Numerick said. “I like (Roseville’s) a lot. It’s a little bit easier to see than the Woodward Dream Cruise.”

A Clinton Township resident, Tanya Peeples, said that she was not a regular cruisegoer, but she decided to come out to Roseville’s anyway. She said she had never seen so many different types of cars in all shapes and sizes. The entire experience was enjoyable, from the food and people to the cars, she added.

Gary Rock, of Eastpointe, brought along his 1973 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight to Roseville’s cruise and said that he tries to make it to all of the cruises in the area to see the cars out and about.

Comaianni said he thought it would be cool to see one giant cruise running along Gratiot involving all the different communities. While Hinds said that the Roseville Heritage Foundation board would look at the feasibility of joining with another cruise at the preliminary planning meeting for the 2015 cruise — which was scheduled to take place July 30 —the board still needed to go over the results of this year’s before making any concrete plans.

The board is discussing setting up a dedicated cruise lane as opposed to having it open in all lanes, as well as other ideas, Hinds said. She said that would be a natural revenue stream for the cruise.

“That’s something we didn’t try this year because we wanted to try it the other way first — we try different things and see what works,” she said. “We’re still in our infancy.”

“The meeting (July 30) is to begin rehashing what we saw, going over public opinion, and then we set our plans accordingly,” Hinds added. “We can’t start setting things in stone until we start looking at all the variables.”

Hinds said she thought it was impressive that a group of 13 people in the community was able to make the event happen successfully.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kevin Bunch at kbunch@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.