The seventh annual Telegraph Tomorrow Cruise takes to the streets from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Thousands of spectators are expected to line Telegraph Road to watch the classic cruisers and partake in events at locations along the route.
By JAMES MITCHELL and DANIEL HERATY
On or off the street, Saturday’s seventh annual Telegraph Tomorrow Cruise continues its rise as a must-hit Motor City event. Telegraph Road turns into a well-tuned parade venue for classic cars beginning Friday and running through a host of activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Cruise, launched in 2005 by the Telegraph Tomorrow Association as Downriver’s answer to iconic rides along Woodward and Gratiot, begins in Taylor at Eureka Road and runs through Dearborn and Dearborn Heights to Puritan in Redford Township.
“It’s going to be a great cruise,” Dearborn Heights Mayor Daniel Paletko said. “Every year we look forward to welcoming a lot of beautiful cars to Dearborn Heights, along with a host of spectators. It’s shaping up to be a great day, one that is bound to bring back fond memories for all of us.”
Thousands of vintage cars and hot rods participate in the Cruise, which attracts an equal number of spectators along the route. The Telegraph Tomorrow Cruise has become an eagerly-anticipated weekend for local bars, restaurants and businesses, and companion events help add to the Cruise’s menu.
In Taylor’s nearby Heritage Park, WOMC-FM 104.3 will host the Michigan Rocks BBQ Nationals, with hot rock ’n’ roll and even hotter barbecue.
Along the Cruise route itself, dozens of related events await spectators and participants. Among the options in Taylor:
• It’s party-tent time at Drinks Saloon, 9015 Telegraph, with a disc jockey, food and drink specials and vendor give-aways. “It’s packed throughout the day,” manager Barbara Bowles said. “We set up Friday night, and have a DJ outside all day Saturday.”
• Among the busiest Cruise stops is Biker Bob’s Motown Harley-Davidson, 14100 Telegraph, which in recent years offered the ideal combination of rowdy-riding fun (car show and display of racing vehicles, and a fundraiser for the Wyandotte Animal Pound).
• Nostalgia rules at Cavill’s Lounge, 14383 Telegraph, with “99-cents day” recalling days when a hot dog or soda could be had for less than a buck. A car show and outside viewing tent complements the barbecue offerings.
• Bring your hula hoop to Glass Mug Again, 8214 Telegraph, which plays host to annual contests featuring hula hoops and frozen T-shirts. A Cruise party kicks off Friday night, and continues inside the bar through Saturday with special guests, a DJ and food and drink specials.
In Dearborn Heights, companies and businesses along Telegraph will be hosting events to help draw a crowd, including an annual party at the Traction Bar & Grill, 5990 N. Telegraph.
“It’s like a big car show,” said an employee at the bar who asked that her name not be used. “There’s going to be a tent outside and food.”
She said that the party will last as long as people and cars are cruising, and has been a success ever since the Cruise was started by the bar’s owner, Mathew Landfair.
A photography company will take pictures of the cars that drive by and will sell copies of the photos to anyone who wants to have a keepsake. City Spokesman Robert Ankrapp said the company, Olan Mills, will be in the combined parking lot of Auto Tint City and O’Reilly Auto Parts, 6938 Telegraph.
Tint City Operations Assistant Beckie Aurdritch-Mitchell said that nothing is definite yet, but they are also working on having a raffle, a barbecue and face-painting for children, as part of a customer appreciation event.
Cruise rocks with national BBQ contest
By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR– There’s a general agreement that Michigan stands among the best in the nation when it comes to the outdoor grilling arts. The organizers of the Michigan Rocks BBQ Nationals competition continue that belief this year by letting the public – with their discerning culinary tastes for all things barbecue – take part in the judging.
“We’re going to do ’People’s Choice,’ where they can come in and taste for themselves,” coordinator Arlie Bragg said. “Let the public decide who has the best ribs or pork in Michigan.”
Michigan Rocks BBQ Nationals, held in conjunction with Saturday’s Telegraph Tomorrow Cruise, is co-sponsored by WOMC-FM 104.3 and Townsquare Live. The party starts at 11 a.m. in Taylor’s Heritage Park, where regional winners in four categories will be eligible for the National Championship in Laughlin, Nevada this October.
Bragg, who has 20 years of barbecue competition experience, said that Michigan Rocks is one of about 400 similar competitions are held in the United States, with more than 4,000 cooking teams in pursuit of national recognition.
With vintage wheels and award-winning eats on hand, organizers said they thought a classic rock soundtrack would be fitting. Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by tribute bands BritBeat (The Beatles), Toys in the Attic (Aerosmith), Led-Hed (Led Zeppelin) and local favorites Fifty Amp Fuse.
Attendees can sample suds at the beer garden, or take the young ones to the Kids Zone for bounce houses, face painting, carnival games and more. Tickets for the BBQ Nationals are $10, and can be purchased at the event or in advance at www.detroitbbq.eventbrite.com.
Teams wanting to enter the competition may register at https://missinginkshop.com/bbqnationals/store.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])