The Detroit Auto Show Announces Summer Day 2020, Street Festival
Last week's words that the North American International Auto Show moves from January to June begins in 2020, meaning more than leaving winter coats at home when you visit the show.
It also means that downtown Detroit will host another major event in a month already packed with activity, and at a time when living and working the center is growing increasingly popular.
Translation: Expect much more traffic and hustle and bustle in June 2020. But civilian leaders say it's OK. A livelier city center is worth a little more trouble getting around.
"I think traffic congestion is a sign of success in most cities," told Mark Wallace, Managing Director of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, which was run last week. "If you go to the center of Paris or Milan today you will have a lot of trouble getting from point A to point B. I think that healthy cities are full of people and when people come with cars, you have to lower a bit more. "
More about Freep.com:
] Massive Detroit Riverfront property has incredible potential
Chemical Bank moves to downtown Detroit and will build 20-story tower
June is already a busy time along the river bank. The Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle usually opens then, with GM River Days coming around the third weekend of June and the annual fireworks at the end of the month.
Will there ever be too much? Too much traffic load, too many people, too difficult for everyday people of RiverWalk and Belle Isle and downtown to do their usual things?
No way, says Wallace.
Most major cities – Chicago, say – the hosted festivals in the city center and along its waterfalls draw hundreds of thousands of visitors and, indeed, a lot of traffic loads. But residents and everyday workers learn to cope.
Last SlideNext Slide
"My understanding is whether it's the Movement Festival or Jazz Fest, people figure out how to accommodate the big gatherings," said Wallace. "Major gatherings are very important to society. They point out meaningfully every year."
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan agreed. I asked him a day about any reservations for the car show that moves to June. Nobody said the mayor.
"It's going to be really good," he said. "I think they make the right decision and I fully support it."
So far, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association has not come to Riverfront Conservancy to talk about programming along RiverWalk. But Wallace said he hopes to set up a series of show-related events, from tours of RiverWalk to new model reveals.
"My understanding is that the ability to do tours or to do programming, if it goes out in the riverfront, will be great opportunities for us," he said. "We would like to have product out there on the riverbank. It's a beautiful place. Sunrise or sunset, it's a very special location."
The 2019 auto show will be held as usual in early January. However, as reported in Free Press last week, the following autoshow will open the week of June 8, 2020, with a thoroughly revolutionized presentation that utilizes juni's mild and welcoming weather.
The exhibition will go outdoors in a big way, with exhibitions along the river and up Woodward to Campus Martius. That should be a sight. Among the planned new activities:
- Ride and stations of new cars.
- Off-roading demonstrations and rides.
- Experience self-propelled vehicles on public roads.
- Dynamic vehicles debut that show vehicles in reality rather than just sitting at a stage.
- Demonstration of how new technologies work in the real world.
This even happens as the city's work and housing population continues to swell almost in the day. In the last week alone, we saw Chemical Bank announce plans to move its headquarters from Midland to downtown Detroit, build a 20's tower near the Fox Theater and base hundreds of workers there.
Also last week broke news of new projects on the northern edges of the city center that will see more than 1,000 new homes built.
And of course, Ford is in the early stages of planning to restore the old Michigan Central Station as a center for its future mobility work.
For those who remember then walkways in the city center were little used during the day, and everything left behind after dark, it's a small head spinning.
But I suspect that this new popularity of the city center is a destination and a place for events is just the beginning. Do not be surprised if there is much more to come.
Contact John Gallagher: 313-222-5173 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ jgallagherfreep.
Read or Share this story: https://on.freep.com/2uWi2JF
September 22, 2019
January 6, 2019