Frankenmuth Auto Fest a welcomed return for local businesses

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (WJRT) - The Frankenmuth Auto Fest returns to Little Barvaria this weekend.

All the fun of Auto Fest officially got under way Friday evening with the start of the Big Block Party. Events continue on Saturday and Sunday.

After a year off due to COVID-19, local businesses are happy for its return.

During lunchtime at Slo Bones BBQ Smokehaus in Frankenmuth, diners were grabbing a bite to eat on this first day of Auto Fest. It’s a welcome sight for owner Jim Jones.

“Our pit master just left for the day, he going home to take a nap because he has been working overtime, trying to get ready for the weekend, but yeah we’re ready,” he said.

Auto Fest was one of many long-time events canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year was so crazy and I think last year,” Jones said. “It’s such a blur, but I think we are at reduced capacity or just take out only or just coming back and take out only. And it wasn’t officially no Auto Fest, but some people still came out and cruiser cars or whatever, but nothing like Auto Fest traditionally is.”

Jones said that the three day event is a big revenue generator for the 7-year-old business.

“It’s one of the busiest festivals in town. It’s this block party tonight is a blast. I mean it shut down Main Street, you got bands you got, you know the music and the beer tents and food and the cars and just the people and as if yes is an exciting time and good to have it back,”

Jones is not alone in his excitement over the return of the classic cars cruising down main street.

“Well it really is huge,” said Kern’s Sausage Vice President Kevin Kern.

Kern’s Sausage has been around for almost twice as long as Autofest. Ken said that he looks forward to the event every year.

“The number of people through town, and then the local people buying sausage for their local guests coming in for the weekend, it’s great,” said Kern.

Kern says they are continuing their tradition of having vendors set up at the park selling brats for people to enjoy, and of course all of the classic cars. A welcome return to a sort of normalcy that was missed last year.

“Yeah, whether they’re loud or not. But yeah, we’ll, we’ll take the traffic anytime,” said Kern.

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