Lillian Berg and Richie Berg, of Bloomfield Hills, find just the right cruising music during last year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

Lillian Berg and Richie Berg, of Bloomfield Hills, find just the right cruising music during last year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

File photo by Sarah Purlee


Buckle up: Dream Cruise returns to Birmingham Saturday

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 13, 2018

BIRMINGHAM — You’ve got the lawn chairs out, the fuzzy dice at the ready, and you’ve been checking the weekend weather report every 30 minutes.

It must be cruise time.

The Woodward Dream Cruise will return to the corridor this Saturday, bringing with it around 40,000 classic cars and more than a million people from around the world.

Birmingham is never one to miss a party, so just parallel to the action on the main drag, the Birmingham Shopping District will host its annual cruise event 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on South Old Woodward Avenue — yes, it’s open again — from Merrill Street to Lincoln Street.

The car show itself is a popular event for residents and visitors alike, featuring more than 300 classics of all makes and models, with some rare rigs too, like the vintage Rolls-Royces. Visitors can stroll down Old Woodward and find food vendors with fresh-squeezed lemonade, hot dogs, kettle corn, roasted corn, baked goods and frozen treats.

“The Birmingham Shopping District is proud and excited to continue its tradition of hosting the Birmingham Dream Cruise event,” BSD Executive Director Ingrid Tighe said in an email. “It’s so much fun to entertain car club enthusiasts and spectators alike from all over the world. This classic car event gives visitors a glimpse of Birmingham’s strong connection to Woodward ... and (its) rich history in the auto industry. “

The BSD is still taking reservations on a first-come, first-served basis for vehicles with model years of 1988 and older. The cost is $35 per car, and participants can pull in off of Woodward Avenue onto Brown Street.

Just down from the car show is the main event: the Woodward Dream Cruise proper, and once again, downtown Birmingham’s Triangle District will be the festivities’ headquarters. The Chevrolet exhibit will be back on the grass next to the 555 Building, where Old Woodward meets Woodward Avenue. They’ll have a variety of displays, including classic and hard-to-find Chevys, and some activities 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Both WXYZ Channel 7 and WOMC 104.3 FM will broadcast live throughout the day from the spot as the nation watches and listens to the hot rides and cool crowds.

Of course, we know there will be massive crowds. But Cmdr. Scott Grewe, of the Birmingham Police Department, isn’t worried. The cruise is typically an event that’s all about fun without trouble, and he expects more of the same this year — knock on wood.

“We do pretty much the same thing every year. Nothing changes about our enforcement,” he said. “We have the same number of officers patrolling, and we’ll be getting assistance from the Rochester Police Department that day. We’ll be out there in cars, on motorcycles, on bikes, in golf carts and on foot.”

Save for a few tussles and maybe some misguided revelers driving under the influence, Grewe said Birmingham doesn’t have many problems with police incidents on Dream Cruise weekend.

There were those couple of years when some classic cars got swiped in broad daylight in front of massive crowds — but those instances certainly aren’t common.

“We just make sure everyone’s getting along and having a good time safely. We make sure traffic moves smoothly and that everyone has a good day seeing some cars and enjoying some nice weather without major issues,” he said.

For more information about Birmingham’s role in the Woodward Dream Cruise festivities Aug. 18, visit BirminghamCruiseEvent.com.