Car enthusiasts gear up for this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise

Since 1995, the Woodward Dream Cruise has brought car fans to the storied avenue.

BIRMINGHAM — The Woodward Dream Cruise has taken metro Detroit back to the ’50s and ’60s since 1995.

Ford Motor Co. will be sponsoring the cruise for the fifth consecutive year during the 27th annual Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 19-21.

The weekend’s events are fueled by nostalgia and bring together car enthusiasts from all over the world to admire the vehicles and raise money for worthy causes.

What reportedly began as an attempt to raise funds for a Ferndale youth soccer field now brings about 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars to the area each year.

“We take pride in being able to say that Ferndale is where the dream began,” Ferndale Director of Special Events Michael Lary said.

The cruise goes along a 16-mile route of the historic Woodward Avenue and involves nine participating communities: Pontiac, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and Ferndale.

There will be several events beginning Friday, Aug. 19 in participating cities.

The city of Birmingham will be celebrating with the Birmingham Cruise Event 9 am-5 pm Aug. 20.

Birmingham Shopping District Events and Operations Manager Jaimi Brook described the Birmingham Cruise Event as being opposite of the Woodward Dream Cruise. Instead of spectators finding a spot to watch the cars cruise by, this event is more like a classic car show, where people walk through an array of parked cars.

Usually, the Birmingham Cruise Event is held on South Old Woodward Avenue, but due to ongoing construction, the event will take place on the east side of Woodward Avenue.

Chevy is the presenting sponsor of this event and will be featuring electric vehicles along with other displays.

There will be 170 classic cars in the display area. Most cars are from the metro Detroit area, but some come from outside areas.

Italian ice, lemonade and hot dogs will be available for purchase at the event.

“We at the Birmingham Shopping Distinct love to bring people into the downtown Birmingham area and give them a place to feel like they are at home,” Brook said. “The Woodward Dream Cruise brings people from all over the county, and this is something that can be a gathering place in downtown Birmingham.”

A more recent addition to the Woodward Dream Cruise is the second annual Woodward Dream Show at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. This event will take place 10 am-10 pm Aug. 19.

This event is packed with entertainment, such as live music from metro Detroit’s Vavoom, free rides in a performance vehicle on the M1 Champion Motor Speedway accompanied by a professional M1 driving instructor, and other family fun activities.

“What we try to do is create an event that is family and car fan friendly,” M1 Concourse CEO Tim McGrane said.

Refreshments at food trucks will be available at vendors including Crispelli’s, All City Dogs, Andiamo’s, Sucree, Casa Amado, Torta Express and Impasto.

Over 600 vehicles are registered for the event. Among these cars, several anniversaries will be celebrated. There will be 1932 Fords celebrating their 90th anniversary, Lincolns celebrating 100 years, and Firebirds celebrating 55 years.

There will also be about a dozen cars from pop culture, such as a vehicle featured in the “Fast & Furious” franchise.

There are numerous events happening in conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise. More information on the cruise and each event can be found at woodward dreamcruise.com.