On Thursday, June 21st, myself and over 1,000 other people took to the streets of Marquette, MI to check out over 300 Ford Model A’s that were in town for the Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA) national convention. It was a beautiful day and the convention seemed to go off without a hitch.
The Marquette County Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau asked me to write about the public events that went along with the national convention, and I happily obliged. I don’t own a Model A, but I love attending the Marquette Festivals and I figured this would be a similarly cool thing to check out. (Spoiler alert: I was right.)
The afternoon started with a vintage fashion show at the Upfront & Co. put on by the Marquette Downtown Development Authority and the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee. The title of the show was “Henry & Clara: The Fords in the U.P.”
As you might imagine, I was one of the only guys at the fashion show, but I won’t hesitate to say it was a very cool event! Champagne, chocolates and deserts and were served as models from the Chassel area walked the catwalk wearing vintage clothing. I’m not talking “vintage inspired” threads here, either. These decades old garments were pulled straight from the Chassel Heritage Center.
The clothes were definitely cool, but the thing I found most interesting was how the presenters tied what the models were wearing into the Ford’s history in the Upper Peninsula. A good amount of the show revolved around a camping trip Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone took to the U.P. with their wives (and support staff) in tow. A whole lot of work and research went into this “fashion show” and it showed. I’d call it a “fashion show slash Ford history lesson.”
The next public event was a parade of over 100 model A’s through Negaunee and Ishpeming. I wasn’t able to attend the parade due to a scheduling conflict, but I did get to check out over a 100 model A’s lined up at another event and it was pretty awesome! Some of the cars were only slightly restored, but most were impeccable and each was unique in its own way.
The last event was a public viewing of many model A’s at the Superior Dome, including the “20 Millionth Ford!” There’s a unique and interesting story behind the 20 millionth Ford (which was a model A, of course). The car was much celebrated as it rolled off the production line, and then was eventually “lost” only to be recovered years later in the Upper Peninsula! If you’re interested, you can read more about that story here.
All in all, it was another great day in Marquette. The city of Marquette handled yet another national convention with seeming ease, and a great time was had by all!