Last Saturday’s Woodward Dream Cruise, billed by organizers as “the world’s largest one-day celebration of car culture,” is a car show featuring over 40,000 cars cruising along a 16-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue through nine different suburban cities. (I was able to catch a bit on Friday when I was in the Detroit area visiting Libby) Organizers estimate the crowds on a rainy Saturday near 1 million, but the event can draw as much as a half a million more with good weather. Interestingly, the cruise doesn’t actually start inside the limits of the Motor City but at 8 Mile, its northern bountary. The Detroit Free Press described this year’s efforts to extend the event to the heart of the city:
If the rain diminished the action north of 8 Mile, it devastated the first attempt to bring the cruise into Detroit. A small but enthusiastic group of volunteers huddled under a tent on Pontchartrain, waiting to pass out Cruise in Detroit maps. But by noon, just two cruisers had cruised all the way to Detroit and the T-Plex Museum on Piquette and Brush. When the driving tour ended late Saturday, 46 had taken part, said Chris Kempa, a project leader with Detroit Synergy, the volunteer group that sponsored the tour.”It would have been a lot better had it not been for the rain,” he said.
While Detroit residents enjoyed the event, news from the domestic auto industry continues to be dismal. Coverage of the Dream Cruise in Saturday’s Free Press shared space with a story reporting that Ford is cutting domestic production 21% for the last three months of 2006. Michigan’s unemployment rate is currently at 7%, making it the state with the second highest unemployment level in the country. The state’s economy is the top issue in the state’s gubernatorial race where Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm is facing former Amway executive Dick DeVos.
Photos taken by Flickr user MadisonAvenue