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woodward dream cruise AP Photo/Paul Sancya

There’s something about Woodward Avenue and cruisin’.

As one of the major roadways in Detroit, Michigan, Woodward Ave. has been the setting for road racing going all the way back to 1848, when carriage drivers used to race along the uneven plank road.

In the 1950s, teenage car culture blossomed on Woodward. Not only were there multiple drive-ins to cruise, but the automotive dealerships and service stations of the Motor City somehow seemed to all center around this one road. Street racing became all the rage. If you had a muscle car, you were seen on Woodward Ave.

Therefore, it’s the obvious setting for one of the most celebrated classic car events in modern times: The Woodward Dream Cruise.

What Is the Woodward Dream Cruise?

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest one-day automotive event in the world, hosting approximately 1.5 million visitors and 40,000 of the coolest muscle cars, classic cars, hot rods, and street rods from around the world.

The event started as a fundraiser for the Ferndale, Michigan youth soccer field. Nelson House, a local plumber, and Mayor Pamela S. McCullough.

But, what was meant to be a one-shot fund raiser became a huge success. Today, the event is hosted across several metro Detroit communities.

The Third Saturday of August

Each year, on the third Saturday of August, Oakland County comes alive with the roar of the Motor City’s claim to fame.

The cars from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s congregate on the M1 Concourse. In true cruisin’ style, the cars complete a 16-mile loop of the hosting communities, including Birmingham, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, and Pontiac.

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The cruise ends at the State Fair Grounds, just south of 8 Mile Road.

Dozens of car clubs are invited to attend, and a variety of car shows are held along Woodward Ave. on the weekend of the cruise. Whether you drive a Ford, a Pontiac, or a DeLorean, your car is welcome at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Though the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Woodward Dream Cruise in 2020 (though an unofficial event was held by Woodward residents), the event is back on track for 2021, including the new Woodward Dream Show to be hosted in conjunction with the cruise. While the two are separate automotive events, the car show plans to keep the hype going with host Bob Larivee, and a variety of events to continue celebrating some of the best cars to ever come out of Detroit.

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