The Jammin’ at the Junction celebration, seen here in a past year, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, with additional social distancing measures in place to maintain the safety of those attending.

The Jammin’ at the Junction celebration, seen here in a past year, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, with additional social distancing measures in place to maintain the safety of those attending.

Photo provided by Eric Lafata


Jammin’ at the Junction to take place with added precautions

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 3, 2020

 Roseville city officials agreed that the Jammin’ at the Junction celebration could take place as scheduled so long as safety measures were observed to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Roseville city officials agreed that the Jammin’ at the Junction celebration could take place as scheduled so long as safety measures were observed to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Photo provided by Eric Lafata

ROSEVILLE — The fifth annual Jammin’ at the Junction celebration in Roseville will be continuing this year as scheduled with additional social distancing measures in place due to COVID-19.

Begun in 2016 and organized by the Roseville Downtown Development Authority, Jammin’ at the Junction has grown into a much loved local event, although many people in the community wondered whether it would be canceled or delayed due to the pandemic.

“This year we were thinking about not doing it, but the city manager wanted us to give a go of it,” explained Eric Lafata, the event chair and vice chair of the Roseville Downtown Development Authority. “The cars will be 6-feet apart. Everyone is encouraged to wear masks even though it’s not required because it’s outside. Kids games unfortunately won’t be there, but we will have musicians at the end of the street and door prizes and trophies.”

This year’s event will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the intersection of Utica Road and Gratiot Avenue. Utica Road will be closed from 12 Mile Road to Gratiot for the event. Early car registration is available at LaFata Auto Body, 28760 Utica Road, for $10. Registration will cost $20 on the day of the event.

The highlight of Jammin’ at the Junction is the car show, in which dozens of classic cars and other stylish vehicles sit on display along Utica Road near its intersection with Gratiot Avenue. Traditionally, additional attractions also are included, but many have been scaled back to ensure attendees remain more than 6 feet apart from one another.

“I think everything can still happen even though it is done safely and effectively,” remarked Lafata. “The police will be on hand to help make sure that happens. … The biggest thing is for everyone to stay safe so everyone can be safe. Stay home if you’re sick, wear the masks, stay 6 feet apart, and this can be a fun event.”

Jammin’ at the Junction was started with the hope of attracting more people to Roseville and raising awareness of its downtown district.

Roseville resident Bob Lepisto has taken part in previous Jammin’ at the Junctions and said he is planning on participating again this year.

“I have a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II. I’ve taken part since it was started,” he said. “The event shuts down a stretch of Utica Road so people could park along the road and you could look at all of these cars without being crammed into a little parking lot.”

Lepisto believes that as long as people follow the safety rules put forth, the event can still go on without problems.

“It’s a great time, it’s good for the community, it gives people something to do, and because it’s outside, I think the risks have to be minimal,” he said. “I hope people follow social distancing and wear masks and everything to make sure it’s safe.”

James Cocheneour, of Clinton Township, has taken part in all four previous Jammin’ at the Junction celebrations and will once again be bringing his 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible.

“I have no concerns about COVID,” he said. “I’ve been to every single one of these shows. I’m satisfied with the safety precautions and people just have to use common sense.”

Cocheneour said he believes Jammin’ at the Junction is one of the area’s best yearly events, and he looks forward to it each summer.

“Eric takes steps to make sure there’s stuff for everyone to do there, and it’s a good family-friendly event,” he said. “He puts on a great show, and it’s safe and anyone who likes cars will enjoy the show.”

Although medical professionals agree the country is not out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19, many in the area hope this event can take place while still being safe.

“I hope people come and promote their city and try to get people to help bounce back from COVID-19,” Lafata said. “I know car enthusiasts have been dying to go to car shows since most have been canceled, so I think this is a good opportunity for them to do so in a safe and fun way.”

Lepisto said an outdoor event where people can get out and enjoy something while still staying safe may be exactly what the community needs.

“With everyone being on lockdown for going on six months now, I think people are waiting to get out and do something,” said Lepisto. “This is something people can do without being on top of each other.”