Motor City Car Crawl and charity fundraiser promises new vehicles, food, entertainment
Mark Phelan Detroit Free Press
New cars, trucks and SUVs will fill six parks in downtown Detroit, along with food trucks and entertainment, this August as the Motor City Car Crawl showcases vehicles from just about every brand and raises money for southeast Michigan charities.
In what could be the beginning of a new tradition, the MC3 will help charities make up for contributions they missed because of the COVID-19 cancelation of the North American International Auto Show’s annual event.
“It’s a great way to get people outside to see the parks, enjoy new vehicles, great restaurants and raise money for charities,” said NAIAS chairman Doug North.
The event will run Thursday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 8. The ticketed fundraiser will be Saturday, Aug. 7.
Vehicles, food trucks and entertainment will fill downtown parks and nearby streets, creating a walkable district for people to see vehicles representing the 185 members of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which puts on the NAIAS.
The auto show is on a two-year pause, with a smaller event, Motor Bella, planned for Sept. 21-26 at M1 Concourse in Pontiac. The current plan is for a full-fledged auto show at TCF Center in downtown Detroit in 2022. MC3 could become a recurring event, too.
“Our goal is to create an event in conjunction with the Downtown Detroit Partnership that focuses on raising funds for local children’s charities, while showing off some of the latest cars and trucks,” DADA executive director Rod Alberts said. “It has been some time since we’ve been able to have an event like this and we believe that the Motor City Car Crawl will benefit both the local charities and local businesses as well.”
Four days of cars, food and entertainment
Admission to MC3 will be free, except for the Saturday night fundraiser.
Details on tickets, entertainment, food, beverages and location will be announced soon.
Expect new vehicles, food trucks and entertainment at the following downtown parks:
- Beacon Park
- Cadillac Square
- Grand Circus Park
- Capitol Park
- Campus Martius
- Spirit Plaza
“We expect a lot of excitement about Motor City Car Crawl. People are looking forward to being able to socialize and attend events again and this outdoor event will bring people together in a safe outdoor environment that illuminates our beautiful city,” said Eric Larson, CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership.
All events will comply with whatever COVID-19 rules are in effect at the time.
The ticketed Saturday night fundraiser will benefit eight children’s charities: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, Children's Center, The Children's Foundation, Detroit PAL, Judson Center, March of Dimes Metro Detroit and University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“It’s a chance for people to enjoy vehicles, food, great restaurants and our automotive heritage. We’re looking forward to raising quite a bit of money for the charities, but there will be plenty for people to enjoy on the other days, too: food trucks, beverages and entertainment,” North said.
“It’s a unique chance to kick the tires, enjoy the food trucks and restaurants and walk from one downtown park to another.
“We hope to have just about every model represented, including some specialty brands that weren’t at recent auto shows."
If the event succeeds, DADA will be “very open” to repeating it, North said.