Today is the 22nd annual Woodward Dream Cruise, billed as the world’s largest classic car event. It takes place in my back yard. Well, to be exact, it’s about 1/2 a block away from my front yard! 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars are expected to visit us today on Woodward Avenue, between Pontiac, MI and Ferndale, MI. It’s big, it’s fun, and it’s FREE!
There are more parties in my neighborhood scheduled for today than at any other time during the year, including 4th of July and Super Bowl Sunday. And the fact is, although this is officially a one-day event, it has been going on unofficially for the past week.
The annual event began in 1995 as a fundraiser to build a soccer field in Ferndale, MI. It has mushroomed to include the length of Woodward Ave from Ferndale (at the city border with Detroit) to Pontiac, a distance of 16 miles, encompassing seven communities.
The car companies and automotive suppliers have eventually taken up sponsorship, with official presence along the route. All along the roadway beautiful classic cars are parked where passers-by can look and even touch. Thousands of other cars are cruising the 8-lane boulevard from one end to the other, which is open for general traffic throughout the event, although they ask that the curb lanes be reserved for the classics.
My town is Ford Country. The major cross street is closed to traffic and, among other attractions, contains Mustang Alley.
This year on Friday for the first time, the northern part of Woodward Ave in Pontiac was closed to traffic, and Dodge-sponsored drag racing (called Roadkill Nights). It may also be the last time, because of the interruptions to local businesses.
While most events are free to the public, there are special fund-raising parties and other events, as well as sales of official merchandise, that keeps the Cruise rolling from year to year.
It’s quite a spectacle!
More about the events: Dream Cruise 2016