Woodward Dream Cruise
The annual Woodward Dream Cruise in suburban Detroit is a celebration of classic cars and of cruising up and down this classic American highway. The Dream Cruise is an official event, but harkens back to the 1950s and 1960s when young people raced their hot rods and muscle cars and spent evenings cruising with friends.
The modern Dream Cruise began in 1995 with an expected turn out of several thousand. Nearly a quarter of a million people came instead. The first event was thought up by Nelson House, a resident of the city of Ferndale. He and his friends hoped to relive the glory days of cruising and to raise money for a soccer field. From their first, volunteer-driven even to the spectacle that occurs today, the Dream Cruise has been a huge hit with car lovers, old and young. Today, the Dream Cruise is the world’s largest single-day car event and draws in around 1.5 million people and over 40,000 classic cars.
The Dream Cruise begins each year on a Saturday in mid-August and ranges from just south of Eight Mile in Detroit and extends several miles to the city of Pontiac. People line Woodward Avenue to watch the parade of classic cars. Along the way, each city the Cruise passes through hosts its own events including games and entertainment for kids, live music and dancing to the oldies, and food and shopping vendors. The car companies, especially the Big Three, host displays and shows to market their vehicles and products.
In addition to casual cruisers and classic car spectators, the Dream Cruise also draws serious car club members. Groups like the Pittsburgh Pistons, the American Road Thunderbird Club, the Ontario DeLorean Owners Club, the Michigan Vintage VW Club, and many more come to the event each year to celebrate their cars and to share them with the world.