2020 Woodward Dream Cruise organizers: The show will go on

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Matt Lewis

The iconic Woodward Dream Cruise is taking the road less traveled. The annual collector car cruise, held each summer on metro Detroit’s best-known thoroughfare, has announced that it will go on as scheduled on Saturday, August 15.

That goes in the face other large-scale car events that have canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and are now looking toward 2021, including Detroit’s own International Auto Show, which was to take place in June. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was scheduled for the same weekend as the Woodward Dream Cruise, but it was canceled earlier this week.

Dream Cruise President Michael Lary told the Detroit Free Press that the event “is continuing as planned in August.” In an email to the newspaper, Lary wrote, “Please know that we are working to deliver the same caliber of family-fun activities that you have come to expect for the past 25 years.”

Lary did not say if “the same caliber” means the same number. Each community along the route hosts its own activities, and thousands of spectators line the streets, making social distancing difficult—if not impossible. At the very least, the cruise itself likely won’t pose a health risk, if people remain in their cars and drive safely.

2019 Woodward Dream Cruise In Car On Ave
Matt Lewis

Although it is difficult to predict how severe the coronavirus threat will be four months from now, the Dream Cruise’s announcement came just hours after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15. Whitmer lifted a ban on some outdoor activities Friday, like golf and landscaping.

The Dream Cruise, which was first held in 1995 as a small fundraiser in Ferndale, bills itself as “the world’s largest one-day celebration of classic car culture.” It attracts 1.5 million visitors annually and more than 40,000 vehicles from the U.S. and around the world.

We’ve reached out to the Dream Cruise for further comment and will update this story with any response.

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