Cruise attendees sit on the median of Woodward Avenue taking in last year’s Woodward Dream Cruise in Ferndale.

Cruise attendees sit on the median of Woodward Avenue taking in last year’s Woodward Dream Cruise in Ferndale.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Dream Cruise 2018 to celebrate 20 years of Mustang Alley

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 8, 2018

 The Dream Cruise will return to Ferndale Aug. 16-18, with three days of festivities taking over Woodward Avenue and Nine Mile Road.

The Dream Cruise will return to Ferndale Aug. 16-18, with three days of festivities taking over Woodward Avenue and Nine Mile Road.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

FERNDALE — It’s once again August in Ferndale, and that means the city’s annual Woodward Dream Cruise celebrations soon will be held.

The 24th annual Ferndale Dream Cruise will be held from Thursday, Aug. 16, to Saturday, Aug. 18, and will take over Woodward Avenue and Nine Mile Road, as it has in years past.

“What we’re attempting to do, if you compare this year from previous years, is that we’re going to have more cars displayed on the street than we have in the past,” Event Director Michael Lary said.

The three-day festival will feature several on-street vehicle shows, such as the Classics & Cruis’n Legends Vehicle Show Aug. 16.

“It’s not just about them parking their car, people coming by and checking it out,” Lary said of the vehicle show. “We’re offering them, when they first pull up, they get a photo shoot with the backdrop of the official Dream Cruise logo so that they have a dated photo of themselves with their car to appreciate, and at the end of the night, all of the classic cars will line up and we’ll have a cruise up Woodward.”

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. Aug. 17 on East Nine Mile Road, followed by the Lights and Sirens Cruise at 5:30 p.m. Before that, the 18th Ferndale Emergency Vehicle Show, which showcases ambulances and fire and police vehicles, will happen between 1 and 8 p.m.

Over on West Nine Mile Road on the same day will be the Professional Car Society Show from 1 to 8 p.m., which will feature hearses, limousines, ambulances and flower cars as a way to further the cause of preservation and restoration of professional vehicles. The Gateway Classic Car Show, spotlighting “high-quality fine classic cars,” will start at 10 a.m.

Also taking place Aug. 17 will be free aerial rides on a Ferndale fire apparatus truck and the 100th anniversary Ferndale Fire & Police exhibit by the Ferndale Historical Society.

Live music, a kids play zone and various vendors will be at all three days of the cruise.

Highlighting the Dream Cruise Aug. 18 will be the 20th anniversary of Mustang Alley, which will take place on Nine Mile Road on either side of Woodward Avenue.

“Every year, it keeps getting bigger, and last year we had it on both sides of Woodward, and that continues this year,” Lary said.

Lary said they hope to get as many Ford Mustangs as they can onto Nine Mile, believing that they’ll get anywhere from 800 to 900 vehicles. Last year, he said, they were able to get just over 850, and eventually, whether it’s this year or in the future, he said they will hit over 1,000 Mustangs.

“The goal is to always see how far we can get,” he said.

When asked if the growth of the Dream Cruise has surprised him over the years, Mayor Dave Coulter said that he only was ever surprised by the event’s very first year back in 1995.

“It exceeded everyone’s expectations,” he said. “Since then, nothing about the Dream Cruise surprises me, because it really has tapped into passion of people in southeast Michigan … and the world, right? We’ve had people at our ribbon-cutting ceremony from Europe and other nations. Classic cars speaks to a lot of people.”

Coulter said he’s seen many different cars and vehicles throughout the years at the cruise, but there’s one car that he has not seen that he’s looked for every year.

“The car that I learned how to drive in was a 1971 (Pontiac) Grand Prix. I’ve never seen one in the Dream Cruise, and I look every year,” he said. “I would love to see that car.

“Other than that, in Ferndale, we do so much with the live music and three days of entertainment, that we’ve got it covered for me,” he said.

Lary teased that Ford Motor Co., the sponsor of Mustang Alley, has a couple of special treats lined up for the alley’s 20th anniversary, though he couldn’t share them at the time.

“Each day is going to be more about what the real theme of this whole event is, and that’s about the car,” he said.