It's Time to Cruise: Your Guide to the 2012 Woodward Dream Cruise
The Woodward Dream Cruise officially happens Saturday, but we've got your guide to what's happening along Woodward all week long.
The muscle cars, street rods, collector- and special-interest vehicles have been roaring down Woodward Avenue for months in anticipation of the Woodward Dream Cruise, which officially kicks off this week on historic Woodward Avenue.
“As soon as the weather gets warm, people start cruising,” said Tina Stefanski of Caribou Coffee on Woodward in Royal Oak. “We'll get people that come in from out of state weeks before the Cruise.”
More than 50,000 cruisers are expected to hit the pavement from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday during the 18th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, which began in 1995 in Ferndale as a fundraiser for a soccer field. That year, 250,000 people showed up to reminiscence about the glory days of cruising down Woodward Avenue, one of only 31 byways designated an All-American Road by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
This year approximately 1.5 million people are expected to attend the world's largest one-day celebration of car culture.
“On the day of the Dream Cruise, we’ll double our staff,” Stefanski said. “It’s great fun if you love uncontrolled chaos.”
Stefanski said she is looking forward to a new event this year, the Cruise in Shoes 5K Run/Walk, which will race past the coffee shop on southbound Woodward between Normandy and 13 Mile Road from 7:30 – 9 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s something new. I’m excited to see how it goes. We’ll open at 6 a.m., so we’ll be ready,” she said.
Greg Rassel, the president of the Woodward Dream Cruise board, is hoping the public will share Stefanski’s enthusiasm.
“We're asking the public for patience Saturday morning,” Rassel said. The run/walk event was put into place to give the Dream Cruise more family-friendly inventory, he said. “If you are usually on that part of Woodward on Saturday mornings, we’re asking you to find another route.”
Rassel has another general request for Saturday and that is to stay off the median.
“The median is strictly for public safety,” he said. In the event of an emergency, the median may have to be used by public safety vehicles to maneuver down Woodward.
Other safety tips include: leave the alcohol at home, obey traffic laws, and don't jay walk. And while the Dream Cruise is a family-friendly event, spectators are advised to be aware of their surroundings and to keep children in sight and close to you.
For more information and fun facts, check out the newly redesigned Woodward Dream Cruise website.
Here's a guide of events happening in a Patch town near you:
Thursday special events
- When: 3-9 p.m.
- Where: West Nine Mile Road from Woodward to Allen in Ferndale
- Why go: Each day of Ferndale's 18th annual cruise will include a kids play zone, food court, merchant vendors and more. Thursday's live entertainment includes Paisley Fogg at 6 p.m. and Rock Bottom Band at 8 p.m. For a full listing of events, visit www.FerndaleDreamCruise.com.
Friday special events
- When: All day
- Where: Throughout Berkley
- Why go: Berkley kicks off the Woodward Dream Cruise weekend Friday with its annual CruiseFest classic car parade and downtown party, jam-packed with fun for the entire family, including sidewalk sales during the day, a classic car parade beginning at 6:30 p.m. along 12 Mile Road and continue into the night with live music, kids inflatable games, Tri-Community Coalition Street Dance, and other festivities until 11. DTE Energy has donated $25,000 to sponsor this year's event and will have a booth open for games, prizes and more.
- When: 1-8 p.m.
- Where: East Nine Mile in Ferndale
- Why go: Check out classic and new police, fire, ambulance, county, state, military and federal vehicles from across Metro Detroit and Canada. You can also be there for the Woodward Dream Cruise Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at 5 p.m., celebrating the cruise's 18th commemoration and officially beginning the historical cruiser event. The Lights and Sirens Cruise begins at 5:30 p.m.
- When: 6-8 p.m.
- Where: Comerica Bank, 36440 Woodward, Bloomfield Twp.
- Why go: For $15, participants can take a 15-minute ride in one of the Superformance Cobra vehicles to help support the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club, Bloomfield Township Fire Department Charities and Bloomfield Township Police Department Benevolent Fund. Price includes a picture of the rider e-mailed at the conclusion of the event for a great visual to post on a Facebook page or Twitter profile. Order forms are available on the Bloomfield Township website.
- When: 6 -10 p.m.
- Where: Westborn Market in Berkley
- Why go: The Champagne Cruise features a preview of Woodward Dream Cruise classic cars, a champagne reception, tastings from Metro Detroit restaurants, live music and dancing, and an auction. Valet parking will be available and the dress code at the 21-and-older event is summer chic. Every dollar donated will enable the food relief agency to deliver five meals to Metro Detroit residents who otherwise would go hungry. Tickets, which are tax deductible, cost from $150 to $750 and can be purchased at forgottenharvest.org .
Saturday special events
- When: Kids Fun Run starts at 7:15 a.m.; 5K Run/Walk at 7:30 a.m.
- Where: The race starts at Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak
- Why go: The Cruise in Shoes 5K Walk/Run will take place on a closed stretch of southbound Woodward from 13 Mile Road to Normandy for approximately 30 minutes. Participants can run or walk in the 5K (3.1 mile) race. There will also be a costume contest, a kids’ run and inflatables set up for little feet that prefer bouncing to running.
- When: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Where: Between Merrill and Lincoln on South Old Woodward in Birmingham
- Why go: Birmingham will be packed with classic cars during the city's annual car show, hosted by Birmingham's Principal Shopping District. Featuring more than 300 classic cars in 2012, the car show will set up between Merrill and Lincoln. Chevrolet will also be returning to Birmingham in 2012, setting up near the grassy triangle that straddles South Old Woodward and Woodward Avenue, south of the 555 building. Chevrolet picked Birmingham to help celebrate the car brand's 100th anniversary during the 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise, bringing in historic Chevys from the General Motors Heritage Center as well as Food Network host Guy Fieri.
- Parking: Parking is available at Birmingham's five parking decks. The first two hours are free; parking is $1 an hour after that.
- When: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
- Where: Mercedes Benz of Bloomfield, 36600 Woodward, Bloomfield Twp.
- Why go: The annual Classic Car Show offers a safe and friendly atmosphere for everyone to see some of the classic cars owned by local residents and car clubs, as well as a prime view of all the action along Woodward's north end. The event also coincides with the Bill Wells Car Club Classic. Named for the township resident who worked to establish the event, the Bill Wells Car Club Classic, showcases some of the most remarkable car clubs from across the United States. Among them appearing this year: The American Road Thunderbird Club; Superformance Cobra; Great Lakes Cobra Club; Houston Texas Cobra Club; DeLorean Midwest Connection.
- Parking: General event parking is at 36700 Woodward and costs $5. Proceeds will benefit the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club, Bloomfield Township Fire Department Charities and the Bloomfield Township Police Department Benevolent Fund.
- When: Starts at 10 a.m.
- Where: East Nine Mile (Woodward to Hilton) and Vester (Woodward to Bermuda) in Ferndale
- Why go: Together, these two shows will include nearly 800 vehicles. You'll also find live entertainment, food and merchant vendors, a kids play zone and a chance to win a brand new Ford Mustang. The Michigan Gumball Rally will also be held on Saturday from Allen to Planavon.