Ferndale will be hosting its Dream Cruise festivities Aug. 18-19 on both sides of Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue.

Ferndale will be hosting its Dream Cruise festivities Aug. 18-19 on both sides of Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

Dream Cruise makes way back home to Ferndale

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 8, 2023


FERNDALE — The Woodward Dream Cruise is ready to return home again to Ferndale to celebrate its 28th year.

The city of Ferndale’s Dream Cruise festivities will be held in the downtown Aug. 18-19 on both sides of Nine Mile Road.

As always, the Ferndale Dream Cruise will be highlighted by the Ford Mustang Alley from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.

Event Director Michael Lary started organizing Mustang Alley in January, and more than 700 mustangs preregistered for the show by July 31. Lary said it never fails to surprise him how invested people are to participate in the alley and Dream Cruise each year, and that the term “car enthusiast” is a bigger concept than the words.

“People really have a huge passion for what they do,” he said. “There are specific cars — especially sports cars — that people really love. And when you have a car like the Mustang that’s been around since 1964, you have … different body shapes. So even though there’s similarities, there’s a different look and people just, I think, a lot of people just like that history.

“Then you have people who customize their vehicles, or there are older cars that are rare that people restore,” he continued. “So people who are really into cars will know, and I just think that the greatest story of any vehicle, especially the classics, is when you see somebody who is an owner that takes enormous pride in having that car.”

As the Dream Cruise gets closer, while he understands people might not like the festival, he hopes those who don’t let the people who do like it enjoy the cruise.

“Respect the fact that other people have a right to enjoy what they feel that is their right to enjoy, and when you are in the Motor City, southeast Michigan, you know, the automotive industry is a really big thing,” he said. “That’s why we do the Woodward Dream Cruise, is to celebrate all things automotive.”

The event will be bringing back its Emergency Vehicle Show, which will take place 1-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18, on East Nine Mile. At 5 p.m., the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held, also on East Nine Mile. The Lights & Sirens Cruise will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Woodward and Nine Mile. It will travel to 11 Mile Road before coming back.

New to Ferndale’s Dream Cruise events is an exhibit from the Michigan Motorsports Racing Association from noon to 8 p.m. on West Nine Mile.

Stephanie Wierzbicki, an event coordinator with the MMRA, stated that it will be exhibiting how kids can get interested in racing and the evolution of racing from a young age to adulthood. There will be displays of different types of race cars.

“The majority of the space we have … will have our cars on display, we will have what’s called a ‘dad’s garage’ showing the public basically how to work on cars, what goes into it,” she said. “We’re really providing the public an idea of how a young kid can get involved all the way through adults.”

This will be the first time the MMRA will be featured at the Dream Cruise. Wierzbicki said it will be an honor to show people the sport they love.

“Just to be at the Dream Cruise and have our club represented is an amazing opportunity in general,” she said. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity and are forever grateful. This is our first time doing it with them, and to be able to exhibit and have the amount of space that’s been provided — we have 391 feet of exhibit space — is incredible.”

On both days, the Dream Cruise also will feature a kids play zone, a merchandise tent, food trucks and merchant vendors on-site.

For more information on the Dream Cruise and its activities, visit ferndaledreamcruise.com.