Dream Cruising

People want to put the ills of 2020 in the rearview mirror, and they’re hoping the Woodward Dream Cruise is still in drive mode.
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Mustang Alley in Ferndale
Motor Midway: Mustang Alley, along W. Nine Mile Road in downtown Ferndale, has been a major draw during the annual Dream Cruise, is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Unless the authorities close M1, the Woodward Dream Cruise is a go for Saturday, Aug. 15, regardless of social distancing guidelines. As with any Dream Cruise of the past 25 years, plenty of parties, parades, and public events are scheduled for what’s turned into a two-day spectacular.

“What we value most about the Woodward Dream Cruise is celebrating the love of driving with both drivers and enthusiasts,” says Jiyan K. Cadiz, a media relations manager at Ford Motor Co., the event’s major sponsor. “We support participating in this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise if it’s supported by public health conditions, as well as appropriate safety and health guidelines for drivers and spectators.”

Ford’s famous Mustang will be the star of Mustang Alley on Saturday, Aug. 15, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Ferndale. Located at the corner of 9 Mile Road and Hilton Road, it’s one of the world’s largest gatherings of everything Mustang, including a new Mach 1.

Each municipality along the cruise’s route has activities planned for the weekend. In Berkley, for example, there’s an inflatable zone for kids, games, a food court, and a Cruise-Fest Classic Car Parade, as well as live entertainment planned for Friday, Aug. 14. Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills is scheduled to host a classic car show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the Dream Cruise.

“We’ve done it for years as a gesture of goodwill to (Bloomfield Township),” says Lee Ghesquiere, vice president of Mercedes-Benz of Bloomfield Hills. “They’ve been a good partner for us, and to let them treat their employees and the people they want to reward and have a day at the Dream Cruise is kind of a cool thing. It’s a great spot and a great venue for them to be able to do that.”

Ferndale, Pontiac, Birmingham, Pleasant Ridge, and Royal Oak also have activities planned along the Dream Cruise route, some of which have been canceled. Full schedules can be found at woodwarddreamcruise.com.

Large events can lead to innovation, such as the Dream Cruise’s new partnership with ParkStash, an app that helps drivers find parking places and allows landowners to offer spaces for vehicles big and small.

“The application is essentially Airbnb for parking,” says Drayton Taylor, event representative for ParkStash. “We enable landowners to turn things like driveways, small lots — even large lots and garages — into money-making mechanisms. There are hundreds of churches, restaurants, and small businesses that have parking lots that can make money. Individual homeowners in the area can do the same thing.”

All of the transactions take place on the app, so it’s contact-free. “We think this will make for a better user experience for the people coming to the event,” Taylor says.

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