Drawing in 1 million people and 30,000 cars, the biggest one-day car event in the world may be skipped this year.
One of the most highly anticipated car events of the year is in jeopardy thanks to the pandemic that has been looming over us for months now. We are talking about the Woodward Dream Cruise, one of the world's largest one-day car events scheduled for August 15th, has been canceled due to the coronavirus. The cities on this signature road are hoping to officially cancel the event, and the results so far are not favoring a positive outcome for Woodward. In fact, after visiting the official Woodward Dream Cruise website, there is a message regarding the event.
This past Monday, the vote stood 7-0 with leaders of Birmingham in favor of canceling the Woodward Dream Cruise. Huntington Woods met on Tuesday with a vote of 5-0. The Ferndale City Council is expected to meet next week. A total of nine cities will vote to decide the fate of this large event that brings over 1 million spectators in from nations all around the globe.
Michael Lary, events manager for Ferndale, said it wasn't an easy decision for them to make. Not only is he events manager for the city of Ferndale, but he is also an unpaid president of the nonprofit board that puts on the Dream Cruise.
"There are enormous fans of this event. They're passionate about their cars. Believe me, I'm not happy," Lary said. "We're making a decision for hundreds of thousands of people. But we're doing it for the right reason".
One of the big things about the Woodward event is that it takes place on a public highway, and it is free. So, whether the event is canceled or not, people cannot be stopped from showing up and cruising on their own accord. Lary mentions that they are aware of that, and nobody will be handing out tickets to those who show up in a stand-out car to cruise around.
Some residents will be pleased to hear that the event may not go on as anticipated since the amount of noise and pollution has been a complaint for years. Not only on the day of the Dream Cruise, but something that happens daily during a normal summer day. A longtime resident right off Woodward recorded a comment that was played during the Royal Oak City Commission meeting on Monday. "The noise level of the cars on Woodward last weekend... was just unbelievable." Alex Krentzin goes on to say, "All I can take from that is that traffic laws don't apply on Woodward." Krentzin said he wouldn't mind the entire summer of car cruising be cancelled completely.
This doesn't apply to just residents but to plenty of business owners as well. While the restaurants and bars welcome the surge of enthusiasts, along with some retail stores, others think that it is a nuisance. From dentists to dry cleaners, some wouldn't mind that the event be smaller.
While cruising is sure to happen no matter the outcome, Birmingham City Manager Joe Valentine mentioned "to tell people from outside Detroit and Michigan not to come." There will be no special privileges regarding parking, and there won't be any concession stands or tents allowed to be setup by car vendors.
This also means that there will be no Mustang Alley in Ferndale which is known for hundreds of the iconic car, and no annual parade called Cruisefest the night before. Shrine High School will not have the "Cruisin' Shoes" fundraiser, and Pontiac won't have a sea of cars filling up acres and accompanied by live music. It's all a no-go.
Mark Clemence, Birmingham Police Chief, said in Monday's meeting that not one single police chief wants the Dream Cruise route to take place. The event draws in about 1 million spectators along with 30,000 classic automobiles, and this could spread COVID-19 epidemically.
One city not onboard to favor the cancellation is Berkley, but the City Manager Matt Baumgarten asked to "not hold any in-person activities."
The other thing is that back in March, people were more apt to stay at home, but now with summer upon us and Woodward being the event that it is, people likely won't shy away from watching the thousands of classic cars taking over the highway. According to Detroit Free Press, "trying to cancel the Woodward Dream Cruise would be like trying to turn off the moon."
Expect police to be out in numbers. Already, Woodward has been a hotspot for those wanting to cruise, but also tends to bring in those looking to race their high-powered machines, do donuts, and cause a ruckus. This spring, more than 120 tickets were issued in the first two weekends of May. More police presence has been added, so those looking for some shenanigans may want to heed this warning.