Roseville to hold downtown classic car show

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 31, 2016

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ROSEVILLE — The newly formed Downtown Development Authority in Roseville already is preparing for one of its first events — a classic car show to be held July 23.

According to Eric Lafata, event organizer and owner of Lafata Auto Body, the Jammin’ at the Junction show will run from noon until 5 p.m. on Utica Road between Gratiot Avenue and 12 Mile Road. Utica will be completely shut down to vehicle traffic during that time, being instead dedicated entirely to the event and the vehicles brought in for it.

“Lafata Auto Body has done car shows like this every year. This was just an idea to make it a little bit bigger, and the city was all for it,” Lafata said. “Originally it was just for our customers, but now that I’m on the board for the downtown district, we’re looking to make it a bigger party.”

Registration in advance can be done at Lafata Auto Body, located at 28760 Utica Road in Roseville, or by sending in the form located on the website under the Events tab. Registration costs $10 in advance or $15 on the day of the event.

Lafata said they are planning on having games and a bounce house for kids, a beer tent, vendors and food carts, and trophies for the top cars in various classes. Some local businesses — including Gonzo Art Studio, Stonewood Smokehouse, Signature Auto and Just Delicious Scones — will be taking part in the event as well, he added.

He said they are hoping to get between 150 and 200 cars for the event.

“We’re just trying to advertise the new downtown district, and this is the first party for it,” Lafata said.

Just Delicious Scones & Royal Treat Tea Room owner Jennifer Colombo said that Lafata had been using her parking lot for a few years for his car shows — on account of her business being closed Sundays — and with both of them on the DDA board, they started discussing expanding the show as a way to highlight the entire stretch of the Utica junction and what they hope to ultimately do with it.

“We had a discussion in the first couple meetings that we should turn the car show into something more fun, and introduce more of what the DDA wants to do by turning the neighborhood into a downtown destination,” Colombo said. “It’s an introduction to what’s up and coming, getting (more people) involved in the community and getting the neighbors up and walking around to see what’s in the area.”

She said her own shop will likely have free samples on top of its usual offerings, while Stonewood plans on having a barbecue. Other vendors are still welcome, and Colombo suggested that anyone interested in either setting up shop or bringing their car contact Lafata Auto Body at (586) 775-1777.

Colombo said the car show should be a good step toward making the newly formed DDA area feel more like a traditional, walkable downtown, which is the ultimate goal of the DDA board over the coming years. She said that not only will it highlight existing businesses, but

it might spur others to consider the area for their own businesses or housing.