Woodward Dream Cruise 2020 Cancelled

We received notification that all the public events for the 26th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise have been cancelled in the name of public safety. The email stated, “The 2020 Woodward Dream Cruise has been cancelled to reduce the potential spread of Covid-19. Woodward Avenue will remain open and cruisers will be cruising Woodward. Any spectators are asked to social distance and wear a face mask to protect themselves and others from possible contamination. Our public service announcement is: ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’.”

The Woodward brings in millions of enthusiasts every year. Many participate in the localized events that occur along the stretch of Woodward Avenue but this year, those events have all been cancelled. It remains to be seen how the current cancellations will affect the cruising scene during the event.

“The Woodward” is undoubtedly the largest rolling car show in the world and it all happens in the Detroit area every year. This year’s event was scheduled for August 15, 2020, but those in the know are quite aware that the festivities begin long before the official show day arrives. Starting mid-week, enthusiasts begin rolling the length of Woodward from Detroit to Pontiac, Michigan, showing off their rides, and of course, doing such things that Woodward has become famous for.

Ford has a huge presence at the beginning of the event in Ferndale, Michigan.

It goes without saying that the automotive scene around Detroit is thriving and enthusiasts are as hardcore as they have ever been. During any given event, you can see enough supercharged, customized, SOHC-motored, or hemi-driven cars to satisfy even the most rabid of enthusiasts. The scope of the event is enormous and many municipalities hold their own events to hopefully, slow passers-by enough to stop and spend some of their time and money.

The cruising unofficially begins days before the big event. Friday and Saturday are consumed with car-spotting all day. Many places turn into slow-rolling parking lots as cars wiggle their way between stoplights through many of the municipalities on their way to the north end of the event in Pontiac, Michigan.

The Dream Cruise event follows the length of the famous Woodward Avenue and begins one mile north of Detroit, in Ferndale, Michigan going up to “The Loop” in Pontiac, Michigan which is about 10 miles distance. There are some hot-spots for cruising, starting at the beginning of the event in Ferndale, where Ford has a strong presence, then again at 13-Mile where both Chrysler and GM have displays. There are also “private” car shows littered along the way, some with charitable connections and others of a much more impromptu nature. The entire length of the Woodward Dream Cruise is prime car-watching territory and finding a spot front and center typically requires a little walking or lucky parking.

They’re bringing them up right in Detroit!

The Woodward has survived through some tumultuous times over the years. As you can imagine, the ups and downs of the domestic automotive realm can have a bearing on the show’s health, as well as weather. In 2003, the Woodward was held in complete darkness, save for the cars’ headlights that traversed the length of the sacred road, thanks to the largest power-outage the US has ever seen. Even then, numbers were down, but the roadshow still went on.

Muscle cars, classics, hot rods, and even gassers wind their way through traffic to garner some eye-time of those flooding the sides of the streets. You'll see a little bit of everything on Woodward during a typical event.

We’d never take a bet that the current situation could entirely douse the automotive enthusiasm of the millions of enthusiasts who make the event a must-attend on their yearly schedules, but with the recent cancellation of all public events during the Woodward, it may be a little easier to find a parking spot. Many folks only take in the event from the seats of their cars, so the road-going show is likely to still take place by face-mask-wearing hot-rodders.

While the official festivities may be shut down, we’re wondering if this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise weekend may actually have more of a participant-centric feel than other years. We’ll have to wait and see if the cars show up and the by-standers stay six feet apart.

Attendees are encouraged to take all safety precautions and we’re not entirely sure if there will be any restrictions leading up to the event. One thing is certain, the passion that many of us share for our cars runs deeper than any face mask could ever cover-up and we’ll bet that Woodward, while different in scope and excitement, will still be a hot spot for hot rodding come that one weekend in August. We’ll have to wait and see!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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