2020 Woodward Dream Show canceled in light of public health concerns

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M1 concourse aerial
Pontiac’s M1 Concourse and 1.5-mile Champion Motor Speedway. Credit: M1 Concourse

Despite initially intending to go forward with a live event for its debut event, the Woodward Dream Show is canceling this year’s planned festivities. Tim Hartge, CEO of Pontiac Motorsports Exposition (PME), the event company behind the project, said in a statement that health concerns prompted organizers to postpone the inaugural event until 2021.

The Woodward Dream Show was announced back in June and presented as a multifaceted three-day car blowout centered around the M1 Concourse road course in Pontiac, Michigan. Designed to run parallel with the famous Woodward Dream Cruise, the Dream Show is meant to attract the very best of the best vintage cars for a ticketed, judged event that includes point-to-point racing at M1, a car-themed fashion show and “afterglow” party, and a massive public cars and coffee. At the end of the extravaganza was supposed to be a huge car parade rolling onto Woodward Avenue. Upon the event’s announcement in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, PME had said it intended to take precautions in the interest of public health and was working with the Oakland County Sheriff to safely manage the crowds.

PME had made recent attempts to scale back the 2020 Woodward Dream Show to an invite-only event that would be livestreamed to a virtual audience, but those plans have also been scrapped.

“We certainly appreciate the capabilities that online car shows have to offer, but no matter how we scheduled it, the final product wasn’t going to be all we hoped to bring to the car enthusiast public. The level of premium cars that people were bringing is something that the public should get a chance to experience first-hand,” said Hartge.

The organization’s other big upcoming event, the first-ever American Festival of Speed, is still scheduled for September 30–October 3, 2021. While the Dream Show has a focus on the sort of hot rods and muscle cars that flood Woodward Avenue every year for the Dream Cruise, the Festival of Speed is envisioned as a sort of American Goodwood.

“The idea is to bring people to Pontiac—make it an epicenter for all things automotive,” Hartge told us back in June. “The American Festival of Speed will honor cars of the past, present, and future. It has to have relevance for today and for what’s ahead—think esports and iRacing.”

The cancellation of this year’s Woodward Dream Show is unfortunate, but with the global health environment in such constant flux, the decision is understandable. The Woodward Dream Cruise has also opted to shut down for 2020.

“Postponing our debut will allow us to better plan for next year’s show and allow the public to experience our ‘best of the best’ philosophy of an automotive event,” says Hartge.

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