Sunday, August 17, 2008
My Town Monday, Detroit: The Woodward Dream Cruise
The Dream Cruise
In August 1995, Nelson House and a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the 50s and 60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America’s first highway. That year, 250,000 people participated—nearly ten times the number expected. The event has grown each year.
Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest automotive event of its kind, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all points in between travel to Detroit to participate in what has become, for many, an annual rite of summer. Cruising starts on Thursday and ends Saturday night, with Saturday being the official day of the cruise.
The route runs a scant eight miles between Detroit and Pontiac, along one of the most well-traveled and historic roads in the area. This was an area that saw the infamous teenage cruising of the fifties and sixties and food served along the route mimics that era as do many of the cars.
Part of the fun, is watching burnouts, a frequent occurrence with vintage cars that travel only a few miles each year. Another large part of the event are the venders selling food, souvenirs and programs along the route.
Controversies abound, given the inconvenience to the local residents who have considerable trouble getting to their house and out for Saturday errands, the waste of gas, the pollution the cruise causes, the police and other personeel needed to supervise it, the demands it makes on local services in several communities.
But it ain't going away anytime soon. It's clearly a Detroit tradition and here to stay. We're all about cars in the Motor City. So sign up to buy a Volt in 2010 and keep us going.