More than 700 Ford Mustangs are expected to drive into Mustang Alley at this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise in Ferndale.

More than 700 Ford Mustangs are expected to drive into Mustang Alley at this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise in Ferndale.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

Woodward Dream Cruise celebrates 25 years in Ferndale and beyond

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 13, 2019


FERNDALE — The Woodward Dream Cruise, born in Ferndale, is celebrating its silver anniversary.

On Aug. 15-17, the cruise will return to Woodward Avenue and the downtown for its 25th year of existence. The three-day celebration beginning Thursday, Aug. 15, will continue until Saturday, Aug. 17, when thousands of classic and vintage vehicles will traverse the roadway from Ferndale to Pontiac.

Created by Nelson House as a fundraiser to improve a local soccer field, the intended one-time event instead attracted 250,000 people and kick-started a tradition that now attracts car owners from across the country.

“No one ever thought that it would turn out 25 years later to be drawing a million people,” Event Director Michael Lary said. “It’s mind-blowing. … Things like this are not what happens every day. I mean, how many events do you know that draws a million people? And we’re just talking about on Saturday. We’re not talking about the days before leading up to the event. We’re talking about that day how many people are at the curb on Woodward Avenue, looking out for the cars that are cruising down Woodward that are reflective of the past 25 years and older.”

The Classics & Cruis’n Legends Vehicle Show will kick off the Dream Cruise festivities in Ferndale from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 15 on West Nine Mile Road. It will feature vintage, custom and restored vehicles.

The following day, Friday, Aug. 16, the 19th annual Ferndale Emergency Vehicle Show will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. on East Nine Mile Road. Also occurring that day will be the official Woodward Dream Cruise ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. and the Lights & Sirens Cruise at 5:30 p.m. that will start at East Nine Mile and travel on Woodward to 11 Mile Road and back.​

Mayor Dave Coulter will preside over his last ribbon cutting, which is something he always looked forward to every year.

“All good things come to an end. I’ve enjoyed it immensely,” he said. “I will be back to enjoy the event as a spectator, as opposed to the emcee, and even have more fun.”

From 1 to 8 p.m. that same day on the west side of Nine Mile, a show spotlighting vehicles from movies and television shows also will be featured.

On the official day of the Dream Cruise, Saturday, Aug. 17, the 21st annual Mustang Alley will take over both sides of Nine Mile Road with more than 700 classic Ford vehicles filling the street starting at 10 a.m.

Outside of the specific events for the three days, each day also will have live entertainment and a kids zone featuring a climbing wall and a moonwalk.

Lary said organizers opt not to have anything new added to the event’s schedule because the show is set up to be traditional.

“People look forward to the emergency vehicle show. They look forward to the Mustang show. They look forward to the quality of our live rock ’n’ roll entertainment that we provide. It’s not what we’re doing that’s new. It’s what we’re doing that people continue to come back to enjoy,” he said.

For more information on the event, visit