Watch 400 classic cars parade through Berkley during CruiseFest

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 7, 2017

 Each year, CruiseFest is highlighted by the Classic Car Parade, where nearly 400 vintage cars will drive down 12 Mile Road for the entertainment of drivers and spectators.

Each year, CruiseFest is highlighted by the Classic Car Parade, where nearly 400 vintage cars will drive down 12 Mile Road for the entertainment of drivers and spectators.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

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BERKLEY — Berkley’s prelude to the Woodward Dream Cruise is getting ready to start again, as the city’s CruiseFest Classic Car Parade soon will take over 12 Mile Road.

The 22nd annual CruiseFest will take place beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug 18, on 12 Mile Road.

Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton said this year’s event is similar to the events of years past, but that it’s a tried-and-true format that people really seem to enjoy.

“We’ll start off with the Classic Car Parade that will go from 12 Mile and Woodward, it’ll head all the way down 12 Mile, run to Greenfield, and we’ll have nearly 400 classic cars that will go down, and we’ll have people lining the streets of 12 Mile,” she said.

Once the parade of 400 cars comes to a conclusion, 12 Mile will continue to stay closed for other CruiseFest attractions, including games and prizes, live entertainment, a kids inflatable zone that will run until 9 p.m. at 12 Mile Road and Tyler Avenue, a food court that will end at 9 p.m. at 12 Mile and Robina Avenue, restaurants in the downtown business district, and the Tri-Community Coalition steet dance area that runs 7:30-9 p.m. at 12 Mile and Griffith Avenue.

“It’s just a really good time and we love it every year,” McArleton said. “We hope for good weather, and it’s all about, you know, the cars, the community and having a good time together.”

McArleton said the CruiseFest committee tries some new things each year, whether it’s a new food vendor or different businesses, but they like to keep things about the same.

“The nice thing about it is that there’s a lot of things that do stay the same about it, but people love that,” she said. “People look forward to it really being about the cars, about the parade, and being with their neighbors and seeing people. And a lot of people come from out of town to view the parade or be in the parade. We register nearly 400 cars, and we register a lot of cars from out of state or Canada, and it’s just a really special thing that happens in Berkley.”

City Councilman Dan Terbrack said he’s been to just about every CruiseFest event since it began, and that while he isn’t the “biggest car nut” out there, it’s more about the atmosphere for him. 

“We have so many people that come to Berkley specifically for the CruiseFest parade,” he said. “The parade gets bigger every year. It’s great. And then we have that whole night that the CruiseFest committee works so hard on, really for a year planning that event, but it’s just a great gathering atmosphere. 

“You get to see people you haven’t seen in a while. You get to interact. It’s just one of our great, signature events of the city, and it’s something we’re extremely proud to put on every year,” he continued.

The event especially has been special the past eight years for Terbrack, as now he gets to take his three daughters to the event and share with them the atmosphere he loves so much.

“For my girls to get to experience that, and they always sit right on the curb there, all three of them are sitting on the curb, and they’re watching the cars, and they get a little scared when some of the loud horns go past,” he said. “Other than that, you know, these are cars they haven’t seen. They don’t even know if these are cars. For them, it’s such a strange thing to see, all these great classic cars. But to be able to share that with my wife and my daughters, and for them to know this is what Berkley is all about, you can’t describe it.”

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