Fifth Annual Go Blue on the Bricks, Aug 15th
Who: For UM-Flint alumni and family members accompanying alumni
What: Free private party with simulated car race, bets, prizes, a chance to see fellow alumni, classic cars, free hors d'oeuvres/snacks, beer, wine, and beverages
Where: University Pavilion at Kearsley and Saginaw streets
When: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, during Back to the Bricks
Tickets: Will be mailed in Alumni Bulletin in the first week of August; alumni and accompanying family can be admitted without tickets by providing information at the door
Sponsorships, Volunteers, Alumni cars: Contact Brent Nickola at firstname.lastname@example.org or 810-424-5450
“Drivers, start your engines!” the race marshal boomed. Revved-up motors thundered and with a flash of the green flag, race fever swept alumni at the Go Blue on the Bricks party.
Cheering for 2-foot-long wooden cars as they’re moved along a carpeted track – and maybe winning a few hundred dollars in the process – is one of the highlights of the annual event, held exclusively for University of Michigan-Flint alumni and their families during Back to the Bricks. This year’s Go Blue on the Bricks party is slated for 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, in the University Pavilion.
Celebrating its 5th anniversary, Go Blue on the Bricks features family fun, free nosh and drinks, prize money, and a prime vantage point for checking out the cruising cars at Flint’s Back to the Bricks (B2B), an auto-focused event that draws thousands each summer.
Heather Nassar, President of the UM-Flint Alumni Board of Governors and a 1997 graduate of UM-Flint, says, “Go Blue on the Bricks shows appreciation for alumni by welcoming graduates to their alma mater during one of the largest events in the county.”
“It kind of feels like VIP status,” Nassar said.
Show-worthy alumni cars have the chance to get VIP treatment too. These cars will be showcased next to the pavilion, in the former ice rink. Alumni interested in having a prime parking spot for their car should email email@example.com with a photo of their car and contact information.
The Go Blue on the Bricks party was born five years ago and has grown to become a signature event for UM-Flint alumni. “This year’s party is going to be especially exciting because it will be the first alumni event attended by the incoming chancellor, Susan Borrego,” said Brent Nickola, Alumni Relations Manager at UM-Flint. “We have also added a couple of new attractions including local alumni band The Loose Ties, NASCAR Driver and local celebrity, Erik Jones, and some vintage racing video games on big screens.”
In its first year, the party drew about 150 people and it has grown in popularity every year since with over 850 guests in 2013. It is run by volunteers, who do everything from orchestrate sound effects to taking bet slips, to working as cashiers. A volunteer may also be seen waving a yellow flag, adding crash drama to the race.
“They’re very crucial,” said Nassar, who estimates about three dozen alumni helped last year. Volunteers get to enjoy the event, while providing essential help to keep the party flowing. “Without the volunteers it wouldn’t go as smoothly as it has in the past,” Nassar said.
Sponsorships have kept Go Blue on the Bricks free of charge, said Nickola. The signature event’s race is an opportunity for businesses to support one of Flint’s strongest institutions during one of the city’s biggest events, plus get sponsors’ names in front of an engaged audience.
Sponsorship opportunities are available at several levels: naming the entire race racetrack ($1000), one of three races ($500 each), or one of six cars ($100 each).
Bets can be made for as little as $1 and winnings max out at $500. Other prizes are also available, including the prize for a 50-50 drawing.
“Nobody gets rich,” said Nickola, “but it’s a day to celebrate. We want alumni to come on out, have a good time on us, enjoy the campus and what we have to offer in town.”