Belle Tire Distributors, in cooperation with General Motors Corp., is sponsoring "Hot Wheels/Cool Nights," a three-day festival of cars, music and general merry-making June 28-30 in Pontiac, Mich.
The organizers expect more than 150,000 to take part in the extended weekend event, called the ``Ultimate Car Street Festival.'' The festival's activities take place in the streets of downtown Pontiac.
Among the highlights of the extended weekend will be a judging of locally owned cars entered in 33 categories; the sponsors have put up $15,000 in prizes.
There will be music on four stages throughout the weekend; among entertainers scheduled are Johnny Rivers, LL Cool J, and Days of the New. Fireworks are scheduled for the evenings of the 28th and 29th.
This is the third year for the Cool Nights festival in Pontiac, according to Jonathan Woodson Associates, the event coordinator.
When Belle Tire executives approached Woodson Associates earlier this year about staging a car show, a spokesman said, the event coordinator suggested combining one with the Cool Nights festival. At that point, the car model maker Hot Wheels was contacted, and executives there agreed to lend the Hot Wheels name to the event.
``Belle was especially interested in staging an event that would showcase vehicles with `high-end' tire-wheel packages,'' said John Witz, a principal with Woodson Associates.
Belle is providing financial support for the event and has persuaded some of its key suppliers to support it too. Among the sponsors are Michelin Americas Small Tires and its BFGoodrich brand, Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp., Tireco Inc., Enkei Wheels and Weld Racing, according to the event's Web site, www.hotwheelscoolnights.com.
Additionally, Belle Tire said recently it plans to open as many as 10 new tire stores this year in the greater Detroit and Toledo, Ohio, areas. The openings would bring Belle's retail tire network to more than 70 stores.