Back to the Bricks: Cadillac Covered with Cars

Saturday, downtown Cadillac will look much different.

Hundreds of classic cars are headed to town once again for Back to the Bricks.

Since 2012, Back to the Bricks has filled Mitchell Street with cars and the stories behind them.

It’s one of the biggest events in Cadillac all summer, and has grown every year since it started.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Jeff Blakeman reported live from Mitchell Street after spending the day talking with drivers and businesses getting ready.

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For starters, Mitchell Street will be closed to traffic.

That’s because hundreds of cars and people who will be making their way to see them will fill both lanes.

Most here say it’s like stepping back into history.

"You feel like you’ve walked back in time," says Joy VanDrie, chairman of Back to the Bricks and the executive director of both the Downtown Cadillac Association and Visitor’s Bureau.

Downtown Cadillac looks normal now.

From Saturday to Sunday, that changes.

"All the streets, it’s just buzzing with old-fashioned cars," VanDrie says. "It’s awesome for downtown Cadillac because it’s that one time a year that we get all of these people that have probably never been to downtown Cadillac that come into town.

"We want to do what we can for them because it helps us and the city, too," says Jewell Petz, who has registered in years past.

Petz will bring a ’56 Chevy pickup Saturday.

To him, it’s about the memories.

"Every once in a while, somebody will start crying," Petz says. "We’ll say, ‘What’re you crying about?’ They’ll say, ‘Well, my husband had one of these,’ or ‘My grandfather had one of these’. It brings them back memories and, believe me, that makes us feel real good."

The fun is not just for the drivers.

"It’s absolutely awesome," says Amanda Siggons, manager of Horizon Books downtown. "We are in a prime location for traffic and customers."

Horizon Books sits inside the area that will be closed off.

Siggins says her staff is ready.

"We get to check out all the cars all day while we are making new friends, helping the customers," Siggins says. "It’s great."

"We want to throw something at them here that really says, ‘Wow,’ this is a big deal," Petz says.

There will be a lot of other attractions there, from sports booster raffles and food vendors to a contest amongst the cars for best of show.

It all starts Saturday with the 10 a.m. blessing at Godfrey’s, and there’s still time to register, which is free.

For more information, check out the Cadillac Back to the Bricks website.