The organizers of the Woodward Dream Cruise have officially cancelled the event due to concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released this week, Dream Cruise organizers said that “due to public health concerns caused by COVID-19, all community events planned for the 26th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise have been cancelled,” and cautioned Michigan residents to “stay safe” and “stay responsible.”
While the Woodward Dream Cruise was only officially cancelled this week, many had already suspected the event would not go forth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials in the Michigan cities that the Dream Cruise passes through, which include Birmingham and Huntington Woods, already voted against hosting the event back in May. At the time, Woodward Dream Cruise president Michael Lary said the cities were “making a decision for hundreds of thousands of people,” but were doing it “for the right reason.” Lary is also an events planner for the city of Ferndale – another township in which the event passes through.
While related events for the 2020 Woodward Dream Cruise will not be held, such as sponsored events like Mustang Alley, there is little the city can do to prevent classic car enthusiasts from taking their vehicles out for a cruise down Woodward Avenue on August 15th. On a regular year, Woodward Dream Cruise attracts around one million people and 40,000 cars to the Metro Detroit area.
In May, Michael Lary said that a Dream Cruise without any sponsored events or other attractions will feel more like when the event started in the mid-1990s, or when Woodward was a hotbed for street racers in the 1960s and 1970s.
“In some ways, you could say we’re going retro,” Lary said. “All we’ll have is cars on Woodward, and people will be social distancing.”
In addition to the Dream Cruise, the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to the cancellation of other Detroit-area summer events such as the 2020 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.