Even if municipalities opt out of official Woodward Dream Cruise-related activities, classic cars will likely pack the road Aug. 21.

Even if municipalities opt out of official Woodward Dream Cruise-related activities, classic cars will likely pack the road Aug. 21.

File photo by Donna Agusti

Dream Cruise a go Aug. 21

Birmingham, Bloomfield Township still weighing participation

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 7, 2021


BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — You can’t keep an engine in idle for too long.

You’ve gotta step on the gas and let that baby roar.

After a hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woodward Dream Cruise is accelerating forward to bring the event back Aug. 21.

It’s too early to say what cruisers can look forward to as far as car shows, entertainment, vendors and other attractions, but Woodward Dream Cruise President Michael Lary said the excitement and support are there — including financial support — and that’s enough for now.

“We’re still in the planning stages,” Lary said. “We have nine communities, and each has its own rules and regulations that define or determine what they will or will not do. Each has to decide if they’ll participate fully, as in no restrictions, or if they’ll participate with modifications as to what they see as normal. That’s still being vetted out by each community.”

The Birmingham City Commission was set to take up the topic during its May 24 meeting, but that got pushed to the upcoming meeting June 14.

“They’ll determine whether or not the city will participate in the cruise,” said Sean Kammer, the executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District. “It’s expected that if they do participate, our annual cruise event will be kind of reduced in scope. Probably a smaller footprint.”

The BSD has hosted its own cruise event on South Old Woodward Avenue in years past to complement the big show happening on Woodward Avenue. Around 300 vehicles from classic car clubs across the country have come to participate, and Kammer said his office is already getting calls from those clubs.

“We’ve had a lot of inquiries directly from the car clubs that want to participate,” Kammer explained. “I think the city manager’s office has been fielding a lot of calls from residents with feedback.”

Birmingham City Manager Tom Markus said residents he’s spoken with seem to have mixed reactions to bringing the Woodward Dream Cruise back at full steam: Some are ready to enjoy the cruise and all of the revelry attached once again, but others are hesitant because of the virus.

And then there are those who just plain didn’t mind the reprieve from the noise and the crowds.

“While some do wish for more quiet, others express a desire to see the cruise return,” Markus said. “I think in general some may see the return of the cruise as more of a return to normal after the COVID restrictions imposed on all of us.”

Bloomfield Township hasn’t announced yet whether it will bring back its annual classic car show this year to benefit local charities. In the past, the event has raised more than $50,000 to benefit the Bloomfield Hills Optimist Club, the Bloomfield Township Fire Department Charities and the Bloomfield Township Police Department Benevolent Fund.

Whether both municipalities decide to participate or not, Lary said they should expect cruisers to be on the main drag the third Saturday in August.

“Just like when we officially cancelled last year, we as an organization can only control what we do on (municipal) properties, as far as entertainment and car shows,” he said. “But what takes place on Woodward Avenue itself, which is a state highway, we have no control over that. As we saw last year, some people will come out and cruise regardless.”