An unofficial, corporate-free event took place this weekend.
Last April, organizers for the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, Michigan were still planning this year's show despite the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. There was no immediate rush to cancel the event because it was still a few months away, but reality soon set in. By late May, local officials and the show's corporate sponsors had determined the event had to be canceled, disappointing thousands of car enthusiasts. However, because no officially organized show was going to happen this year, local residents took it upon themselves to hop in their muscle cars, hot rods, and other cool classic cars for an unofficial cruise down Woodward.
The Detroit News reports that "the world's biggest traffic jam" took place in an unofficial capacity yesterday as residents and out of town fans alike set up their lawn chairs according to social distancing guidelines as the cars cruised by.
And, as it turns out, the whole thing was a reminder to those who remember the event as a true grassroots show without any corporate sponsorship. "It's nice not to have all the companies here," said a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS owner. "It's been easier to find a parking space that usually are soaked up by all the corporations." A Chevy Corvette owner backed up that assertion. "It's just like the old days out here. The companies aren't here, but the cruisers still are."
Meanwhile, the Woodward Dream Inc. President, Michael Lary, continues to defend his board's decision to officially cancel the show.
"We made a decision based on the best interest of the public," said Lary, whose board is made up of local city officials. "We didn't want to be part of doing irresponsible things."
Ford Explorer Police SUVs were very much a presence, making sure attendees were keeping with health guidelines. Fortunately, there weren't any reported problems. And without those big corporate sponsors, such as Ford, people were able to experience the event the way it used to be.
"This year reminds of the first five years of the Cruise," said one classic Chevy car club member. Assuming there'll be a coronavirus vaccine by next year, expect the 2021 Dream Cruise to return to a big corporate-sponsored event.