July 23rd, 2021 | Written by Kingsli Kraft
In early June, the Alpena Downtown Development Authority (DDA) resumed one of their regular summer events, Coffee and Cars. Coffee and Cars began in summer 2020 as a casual event for classic car owners and classic car admirers to come downtown in a safe, socially distanced way and still connect with their community regularly.
Coffee and Cars is hosted every Saturday morning, from 8:00am to 12:00pm all summer long through Labor Day weekend. There is no registration, and classic car owners can come downtown, park anywhere on the street or in one of the public parking lots and grab a cup of coffee or a drink from one of downtown’s coffee shops.
The idea for Coffee and Cars came from the our Promotions and Marketing Committee. Last year, when we were brainstorming how to bring people downtown and still host events that fit within the social distancing guidelines of that time, we came up with this idea.
Once we started hosting them, we received so much positive feedback and extended the two Saturdays last summer to be a standing event until Labor Day Weekend. Because it is such a simple event, it was a no brainer to bring it back this year and invite classic and cool car owners to line the streets Downtown on Saturday mornings.
It really is so cool to see vintage cars parked throughout downtown, it looks like a throwback picture come to life. It’s a great time of day to bike through downtown and check out all of the cars before it gets super hot later in the day.
The event runs for four hours every Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Car collectors don’t have to stay for the whole time, and of course we encourage people to stay downtown and enjoy all of the great things our district has to offer, like shopping, dining, and the arts.
Coffee and Cars is a free event meant to bring people with a common interest together downtown. Participants just have to pay for their coffee if they’d like one, but it’s not required.
Whenever we can build community, or create space for existing communities to gather downtown, it’s one of my favorite things. The mission of the DDA is to “promote positive physical, aesthetic and economic change within the downtown district” and it’s really amazing to see how many different ways we have an opportunity to do that. From simple events like these that bring people together to have fun downtown, to long-standing programs like our Façade Grant Program, there are many different ways that we are able to accomplish our mission.
For more information and Coffee and Cars and other summer events downtown, visit our website: https://www.downtownalpenami.com/events.html#summer
Kingsli Kraft wrote this article for Blog Downtown Alpena. Kingsli is an Alpena native and a graduate of the University of Michigan. She now works at the Alpena Downtown Development Authority as the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. She volunteers on Thunder Bay Theatre’s Board of Directors and is a dedicated advocate for the arts and environment. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, hiking, caring for her numerous house plants and all things coffee. You can follow her on Instagram here.