Parade of Woodward Dream Cruise classics gets underwayFri, 19 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Friday marked the final prelude of the 17th annual Woodward Dream Cruise but pre-event festivities have been underway for days throughout suburban Detroit.
A lights-and-sirens cruise graced the streets of Ferndale, Mich., during late afternoon, while an emergency-vehicle show ran through the evening; live DJs set up to play through the day and night in Pontiac, Mich.; a classic-car parade lit up the streets in the nearby suburb of Berkley; and classic-car displays have now claimed much of the pavement in Royal Oak.
Among local car enthusiasts participating in the week-long buildup to the Woodward Dream Cruise, Kathy Lang and her husband have been set up with their 1964 Dodge Polara in the Royal Oak vicinity since Monday.
"In 17 years, we've only missed the Dream Cruise once," said Lang, "and that was because of a motorcycle accident."
The first two years, Lang and her husband came as spectators to the event. After that, they had the Polara to display and it's been on the same stretch between 10 and 11 Mile roads on Woodward Avenue for 14 years the week of the cruise.
“It gets bigger every year and starts earlier in the week,” Lang reflected of the event. “It used to be Thursday, Friday, then Saturday was the cruise. Now it all starts Monday. I love it.”
Lang will get up at 5 a.m. to claim a spot for the Polara on Saturday, which her son-in-law will guard while she and her husband return to bed for a couple of hours before the cruise. This is now their yearly routine.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, the wheels officially start turning. After that, it's 12 hours of classic cars cruising the Woodward, free for all to gaze upon. That is, if you can secure a perch among the 1.5 million fellow gawkers expected to show this year--not to mention the live radio broadcasters, performing musicians, food booths and street vendors that will also be in attendance.
If you haven't done it already, now is the time to set up your lawn chair and clean your binoculars for more than 40,000 muscle cars, hot rods, street rods, customs and classics that will make their way through the 16-mile stretch of eight Detroit suburbs in what has turned into the world's biggest one-day automotive event.
Check autoweek.com for more Woodward Dream Cruise updates all weekend long.
By Michelle Koueiter