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Motor City Car Crawl fills downtown Detroit with charity gala, Sheryl Crow performance

Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-07 22:17:31-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — This weekend, parks across downtown Detroit transformed into a car display for the first annual Motor City Car Crawl.

"Today I wanted to see the Bronco," said attendee Ryan Keith. "It’s been on the radar for years, it’s good to see Ford’s actually bringing it back.”

For car lovers like Ryan, this weekend in downtown Detroit is exactly what he needed, after COVID-19 put the auto show on hold again.

“Open air, I feel safe, I'm able to walk around and see the different displays from all the different manufacturers, and spend some money and time around Detroit. It’s great,” Keith said.

The event helps fill the void of the North American International Auto Show, which has been canceled for two straight years. Instead, the show is brought outdoors across six parks in downtown Detroit.

“Its interesting how it’s devised,” said Elmer Alexander. "I looked at one of the products I used to make in the past working for General Motors.”

Those parks were transformed into auto displays, with manufacturers showing off their newest models including an entire park dedicated to hybrid and electric cars.

“A lot of brand new electronic state of the art cars and they’re really exciting to look at,” said attendee Dan Hahn.

But the main event was the charity gala. Headlined by Sheryl Crow, it's expected to bring in thousands of dollars for local charities.

"I think that’s why we’re here, because those charities need the money still and they’re not getting it because of COVID,” said attendee Christy Richard.

Those behind the event hope it also brings in revenue to local businesses, because they too have struggled in the pandemic.

“It’s really a community event," said Rod Alberts, Executive Director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. "What we want to do is bring the restaurants together, the bars, all the activities.”

Caused by COVID-19, the event has so far been getting rave reviews, leaving many hoping this pandemic idea is here to stay.

“Out of crisis comes opportunity, and that’s all we’re doing is making some things new happen here in Detroit,” Alberts said.