2017-07-06 / News

MINI on the Mac To Make Attempt To Break World Record at St. Ignace August 5

By Kevin R. Hess

More than 900 MINI Cooper cars are registered so far for an August 5 crossing of the Mackinac Bridge at St. Ignace. Organizers hope to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest parade of these vehicles.

In 2015, 1,319 MINI Coopers crossed the Mackinac Bridge, falling just short of the record of 1,450 held by London and Surrey MINI Club owners. Organizers of the St. Ignace event hope to eclipse that mark this year. The Sharpe Collection and MINI of Grand Rapids are the organizers of the parade, in partnership with the St. Ignace Events Committee and St. Ignace Visitors Bureau.

Many of the MINIs will arrive in the Straits area Friday, August 4. The bridge crossing will be Saturday, August 5, starting and ending at St. Ignace, followed by a luncheon for participants at Little Bear East Arena. There will also be live music and giveaways. Shuttles will be available from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. to transport participants to several establishments throughout St. Ignace, including restaurants, hotels, and Kewadin Shores Casino.

Saturday Night Live will be happening from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown St. Ignace and includes street performers, outdoor vendors, and live music. Fireworks Over the Bay will take place at dusk.

MINI on the Mack has partnered with the Purple Community of the Van Andel Institute (VAI) of Grand Rapids to help raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease research. The VAI is an independent biomedical research and science education organization that supports the work of more than 360 scientists, educators, and staff. The Purple Community is VAI’s grassroots community awareness and fundraising program that connects individuals, schools, teams, and businesses to the resources needed to advance the fight against cancer, Parkinson’s, and other diseases. The Sharpe Collection and VAI have had a long-standing partnership, as George Sharpe, Jr., general manager of The Sharpe Collection, has Parkinson’s.

Representatives from the Purple Community will be in attendance at MINI on the Mack selling exclusive merchandise and collecting donations for the VAI. They will also be helping people to set up personal online fundraising sites to raise awareness with their friends and family and solicit donations. For every $100 raised or donated, participants will receive a limited edition purple MINI on the Mack T-shirt. All of the donations go towards medical research.

“Thanks to an endowment that pays for all of our administration, people can know that every dollar they donate is being used for medical research,” said Ashley Owen of the Purple Community.

Ms. Owen says $500 has already been donated before they’ve even had a chance to advertise the partnership.

“We thought it would be an awesome opportunity,” she said. “We’re excited for the impact we will be able to have.”

Registration is $30 for drivers and $25 for passengers and includes two bridge crossings, lunch, and a bag of accessories for the vehicles. People can register online at www.minionthemack.com. Online registration ends July 31. Once 1,000 cars are registered, organizers will give away a hotel package to one registrant. Participants must be registered online to be eligible for the hotel package giveaway. Owners who have not pre-registered may do so the morning of the event, but organizers recommend pre-registering.

Due to low registration numbers, Motorcycles on the Mack, scheduled for August 19, has been cancelled. Trek the Mighty Mac and Expo, a bridge crossing of off road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, and dirt bikes, is scheduled for Saturday, September 30.

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