The annual Woodward Dream Cruise, which runs through the famous Woodward Avenue between Ferndale and Pontiac, Michigan, is a favorite summer event for car enthusiasts across the nation. In fact, it’s the largest single day automotive event in the world. This summer, however, things could be greatly affected due to COVID-19. It’s already affected other Detroit car events. For example, the reimagined summer Detroit Auto Show, scheduled for early June, was canceled due to the pandemic, along with the debuts of several major products such as the 2021 Ford Bronco and Hummer EV. Despite the uncertainty ahead, the Woodward Dream Cruise is still set to go on as planned in August, according to the Detroit Free Press.
According to an email sent by Woodward Dream Cruise President Michael Lary to the Detroit Free Press, the cruise, “is continuing as planned in August.”
“We are working to deliver the same caliber of family-fun activities that you have come to expect for the past twenty-five years,” said Lary in the email. The Woodward Dream Cruise first took place in 1995, and was actually a fundraiser to get funding for a soccer field in Ferndale. In the first year alone, the event drew 250,000 participants and spectators.
Compared to other automotive events, the Woodward Dream Cruise has an advantage in the age of Coronavirus. The participants of the main portion of the cruise are driving, which socially distances them from other people. The issues lie in the spectators, and the frequent car meets that accompany the cruise.
Before, during and after the cruise, many smaller car meets spring up. These can be model specific events, manufacturer or sponsor displays. At these, more people are obviously mingling. Then there’s the issue of spectators. Each cruise, hundreds of thousands of spectators from the communities along Woodward and beyond, line the streets to watch the cars drive by. This is another mass gathering of people that could be problematic when trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A lot can still happen, both positive and negative, before the scheduled start of the Woodward Dream Cruise in August. We certainly hope the fun and historic event can take place, and that current social distancing and stay at home efforts have been enough to let the event go on as planned.