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Woodward Dream Cruise 2024 in Midwest

The largest one-day classic car event in the world, drawing over 1-million people and 40,000 classic cars each year

Dates: August 17, 2024

Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise

The Woodward Dream Cruise is a major attraction for classic car lovers in the United States, held annually on the third Saturday of August in Detroit, Michigan. This massive cruise takes place along the historic Woodward Avenue, a significant thoroughfare built during the industrial boom of the early 20th century. The route stretches from Ferndale to Pontiac, showcasing a stunning array of more than 50,000 vehicles: high-performance muscle cars, street rods, collector items, custom-made and special interest cars.

Locations

The Woodward Dream Cruise route covers a 16-mile (26 km) radius and passes through nine participating municipalities in Oakland County, southeast Michigan (the metropolitan Detroit area). These municipalities include Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge, and Pontiac.

Schedule of Events

The Woodward Dream Cruise runs from 9 am to 9 pm, with each city along the route hosting various events throughout the day. Highlights include the CruiseFest Classic Car Parade in Berkley from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm and the Birmingham Cruise from 9 am to 5 pm. In Ferndale, Friday features the Ferndale Emergency Vehicle Show from 1 pm to 7 pm, Lights & Sirens Cruise at 5:3o pm, Rock’n Live Entertainment Stage from 1 pm to 9:30 pm, and Kids Car Club & Play Zone, while Saturday showcases Mustang Alley from 10 am to 6 pm. Royal Oak offers a Classic Car Show and the Cruise In Shoes 5k Run. Pleasant Ridge hosts a Ford Bronco Show from 10 am to 6 pm.

Cruise in Shoes

On Saturday, August 17, 2024, the morning of the Woodward Dream Cruise, participants can join the annual Cruise-In Shoes 5K Fun Run/Walk. Starting at 7:30 am on Yorba Linda Blvd, the event offers a unique chance to run along historic Woodward Avenue before winding through various Royal Oak neighborhood streets and concluding at Shrine High School.

Pricing & Parking

Participation in the event and watching the cruise are free of charge. Anyone can join, but individuals not driving a classic car are requested to avoid the two right lanes nearest to the curb. Municipal parking for the Woodward Dream Cruise is available in several cities. In Birmingham, parking decks are within walking distance of downtown activities. Ferndale's lots are near Woodward Avenue and Nine Mile Rd. Pontiac offers lots and structures around downtown. In Royal Oak, parking is available at municipal lots near Woodward Avenue, the Royal Oak Golf Center, Gunn Dyer Park, and Upton Park.

History of Woodward Dream Cruise

The Woodward Dream Cruise was first held in August 1995 by a group of car enthusiasts feeling nostalgic after the 50s and 60s. These were the glorious times for Motor City and America's first highway. The local car culture declined after manufacturers switched to less powerful and more energy-efficient cars in the 1970s. The event attracted 250,000 people in its first year and has become an instant success. Cars from all over North America flock to Metro Detroit to participate in summer's largest car party. Some arrive from as far as New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

The cruise also showcases old-time drive-ins and restaurants along Woodward Avenue that keep the Americana spirit alive. Roller-skating servers in white socks brought hamburgers and milkshakes to drivers in their super-powerful cars. Tedd's DrTedd's, Totem Pole, The Varsity, Hollywood, Wigwam, and Suzie Q's' were Q'sn in the 1930s–1950s, becoming Woodward Avenue's spots.

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