Woodward Dream Cruise canceled over COVID-19 concerns

DETROIT — The 26th annual Woodward Dream Cruise has been canceled, officially, due to public health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers posted the news on the cruise website Monday morning: “Notice: Due to public health concerns caused by COVID-19, all community events planned for the 26th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise have been canceled. Stay safe. Be responsible.”

This year’s event was set for Aug. 15, but already communities along the 16-mile route in Oakland County had called off all special events associated with the cruise, including “Mustang Alley” in Ferndale, and various sponsored events.

The Woodward Dream Cruise typically attracts around 1 million people and 40,000 cars to the stretch of the M-1 highway from the Detroit border to Pontiac, Mich.

Just last year, projections for the event were optimistic as the cruise brought in more backers, totaling 35 sponsors. The increase brought 2019’s sponsorship dollars to $500,000, up from $483,000 the previous year. The funds typically went toward a range of event expenses, such as tent set-ups and live music, while residual funds were given to the nine participating cities.

The Dream Cruise has been run officially every year since 1995 when it started as a local fundraiser and has grown to include automaker and supplier sponsorships, massive displays, car shows as well as watch parties, parades and celebrity meet-and-greets.