Despite continuing concerns about COVID-19, Roseville’s Jammin at the Junction saw its highest turnout yet.

Despite continuing concerns about COVID-19, Roseville’s Jammin at the Junction saw its highest turnout yet.

Photos by Deb Jacques


Jammin’ at the Junction has biggest year yet

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 29, 2020

 Ken Strovel, of Warren, cleans his 1969 Chrysler Newport at the fifth annual Jammin’ at the Junction along Utica Road in Roseville Sept. 26.

Ken Strovel, of Warren, cleans his 1969 Chrysler Newport at the fifth annual Jammin’ at the Junction along Utica Road in Roseville Sept. 26.

 A “rat rod” owned by Highway Auto Parts, of Roseville, and driven by Roseville resident Lenny Monteleone, is among the many exotic vehicles at the fifth annual Jammin’ at the Junction celebration.

A “rat rod” owned by Highway Auto Parts, of Roseville, and driven by Roseville resident Lenny Monteleone, is among the many exotic vehicles at the fifth annual Jammin’ at the Junction celebration.

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ROSEVILLE — With social distancing measures in place, Roseville-area residents descended on the intersection of Utica Road and Gratiot Avenue for the fifth annual Jammin’ at the Junction car show.

Organized by the Roseville Downtown Development Authority, the event scaled back some of its attractions, such as eliminating carnival-style games to cut down on concerns about spreading COVID-19. Social distancing and mask use were also instituted; however, despite all of this, it was the largest Jammin’ at the Junction yet.

“It’s going really, really well,” said Sarah Lafata, one of the event organizers and co-owner of Lafata Auto Body. “There’s about 190 cars that are registered; that doesn’t include those not registered that are on the side streets. The cars are 6 feet apart. People are encouraged to wear masks. If you’re talking to people, you should wear a mask, but otherwise it’s pretty safe because everything is going on outside.”

Frank Monteleone, the owner of Rebels Hair Studio, which is located along Utica Road, said he was very impressed to see how Jammin’ at the Junction has grown.

“I would guess that it’s more than doubled in terms of how many cars and people are here,” said Monteleone. “It seems like an actual car show that I’m really proud to be part of. Before it was nice, but it always seemed like it was still in its infancy even though it was a few years in.”

Lafata credited the growth to word of mouth, the nature of the event and because many people were eager to go out and have some fun before the weather turned cold.

“This is a big turnout this year. I think everybody is sick of being stuck at home. They want to get out and get fresh air and this is supposed to be the last really nice weekend before the temperature starts to go down. We’ve gotten very good feedback from those attending,” Lafata said. “I think people like it because it’s a small event. It’s not corporate. It’s just a bunch of small businesses and people from around town coming together to make this a success.”

Tony Gramer, of Canton, was among those who took part and came down with his uncle John Valmassoi and Valmassoi’s 1969 Buick Riviera. 

“My uncle is the original owner of it. It’s an unrestored car so it’s great to get it out on the streets. It’s great to get out at all these days," he said.

Gramer said he was pleased with Jammin’ at the Junction and pleased to see people followed the social distancing guidelines.

“Lafata Auto Body and the city of Roseville did a nice job. You couldn’t have asked for a better day or nicer people. There were friendly people, great cars and good food. I’ve had a great time. … I think people have been respectful. People are being careful.”

Terry King, of Chesterfield Township, was there with his 1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and said he was pleased with how things were turning out. 

“This is my first time taking part,” he remarked. “There’s so many great cars here, you can’t pick one favorite. …  “It’s been going good. There are a lot more cars out than I expected. I think people are having a good time and they’re wearing masks when they need to.”

Lafata said she is seeing the results of investments made in the community by both residents and the local government.

“It’s very encouraging for the Roseville community,” she said. “Our business is in Roseville, obviously, and I know there are a lot of garages or car restoration businesses here too. This is a good way to get people out. I think the investments the city has made are making a difference. There are new streetlights, new trees have been planted, there are new sidewalks. It makes it a lot safer for people.”

Monteleone agreed.

“It makes you proud that the city is doing something and that they’re doing something to try and spruce things up in this part of town and helping put on shows like this,” he said. “We’ve been in business since 1994 and it seems like the last five years or so, you’re getting more out (of the community) than just putting in and paying taxes.”

He went on to say that despite fears about COVID-19, he was glad Jammin’ at the Junction went forward this year and stressed how good it was for the Roseville area.

“You’ve got a little bit of everything here,” Monteleone said. “You’ve got some old music, some old cars, a band is playing down the street, the businesses are out serving people. It’s definitely benefiting the businesses (along Utica Road) like mine.”

“It’s nice to have the city coming together. They’re trying to promote the city of Roseville and be proud of their city,” added Gramer. “It’s my first year coming here, but I want to come back.”

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