57 Reasons to Love Woodward Dream Cruise [Gallery]
It’s one of those car events that makes you pinch yourself. No, it is not a dream. Over 45,000 vehicles shook up Michigan’s Woodward Avenue for the 21st consecutive year on August 20, 2016. Woodward Ave., also known as "Detroit's Main Street," was the world’s first concrete highway ever made and runs Southwest from Pontiac, Michigan, to Detroit, the heart and soul of America—the Motor City.
When the road was fully paved in 1916, it was barely as wide as an early-1960s Cadillac is long—about 18 feet—and its racing history dates as far back as 1848, when the roadway consisted of planks and young carriage drivers sacrificed their kidneys to come out on top. By 1958, the concrete roadway was used for unofficial street racing.
The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world's largest annual one-day automotive event, bringing in over $56-million dollars to the Metro-Detroit economy and attracting around 1.5 million spectators each year from around the globe. License plates from Vermont, Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, and Michigan’s surrounding states, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, were identified throughout the day.
The variety of cars is as diverse as Detroit’s culture: Muscle cars, exotics, imports, sport trucks, off-road vehicles, customs, hearses, hot rods and rat rods lined the streets for the moving car show extravaganza. Hand-built one of a kind creations also caught the eyes of the spectators, who lined each side of Woodward Ave with tents and folding chairs to watch the action.
But it’s not just a cruise. Multiple car shows and displays are spread across several cities, accessible right off of Woodward Ave. Downtown Pontiac offered superior entertainment all weekend, including two music stages along Saginaw Street playing classic rock, R & B and oldies. Meanwhile, the Downtown Pontiac Classic Car Show hosted 300 cars and the Pontiac City Square Car Show offered a 6-acre stretch of automotive eye candy. Obviously, walking shoes are a must for this event.
Just down the road, the Birmingham Cruise Classic Car Show was hoppin’, and live entertainment was on stage near the intersection of Old Woodward and Lincoln St. Also downtown near Old Woodward, Chevrolet showcased its new cars and paid tribute to its heritage with a classic car display in celebration of the iconic Camaro’s 50th anniversary.
The 18th Annual Mustang Alley Show brought on the horses in the city of Ferndale, and in Bloomfield, the Bloomfield Township Classic Car Show returned to the Mercedes-Benz lot with a cluster of classics. Royal Oak’s Classic Car Show at the Northwood Shopping Center was a big hit, as was the Performance Park Classic Car Show featuring GM Performance, vendors and a food court at Memorial Park.
This only scratches the surface of the intensity of the weekend. Considering the constant distractions from the magnificent scattering of vehicle displays and the reverberating rumbles of classics on the road, it is nearly impossible to see everything in a day, and that is exactly why millions of people return every year.