Loved the Dream Cruise? Catch Up with Patch's Coverage
We were out covering the Woodward Dream Cruise and Birmingham all day Saturday and throughout the week before. Check out what happened in Birmingham.
The 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise, as well as the third annual Birmingham Cruise, has come and gone, but the images and stories will live on for another year in the memories of the Birmingham residents who opened their streets to thousands of hot rods, classics and muscle cars — and their fans.
Though Birmingham doesn't officially participate in the Dream Cruise, plenty of Birmingham residents came out to celebrate the cruisers, led by the Chevrolet centennial display south of the 555 Building and punctuated by the weeklong party at the Hunter House and the opening of the Fiat dealership on Woodward Avenue.
Meanwhile, the Birmingham Cruise, a more stationary car show, entered its third year, expanding two blocks north on Old Woodward Avenue and attracting more than 300 classic cars.
"For me the most impressive thing about the Birmingham Cruise Event is that you can enjoy the high-energy experience of watching the cars go by from a front-row seat along Woodward Avenue, or take a more casual stroll and browse the impressive display of classic cars along South Old Woodward Avenue," said City Manager Bob Bruner, who enjoyed his first Cruise in Birmingham after spending the past few years in Ferndale (where he was city manager there).
Principal Shopping District director John Heiney said his department estimates between 15,000-20,000 people came through Birmngham Saturday, around 5,000 more than last year.
Perhaps the biggest story, though, about Dream Cruise 2011 was the violent storm that swept through Oakland County around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, downing power lines in Birmingham, Royal Oak and Berkley, cutting off power to thousands of DTE Energy customers and temporarily scattering cruisers and their fans.
Though organizers officially shut down the Cruise early — at 7 p.m. rather than the scheduled 9 p.m. — the cars returned after the storm and remained until the late-night hours. Birmingham Police Sgt. Mike Albrect said he sent his officers back out to the streets when the cruisers returned, while cruise fans were barely deterred by the rain. "We arrived right after the storm, but we come every year," said Sterling Heights resident Laurie Heuer around 8 p.m. Saturday.
Luckily, despite the weather, Birmingham Police reported few incidents Saturday. Albrecht said his officers handed out five Dream Cruise-related citations for miscellaneous driving violations all day Saturday but made no arrests.
Other highlights of the day included Food Network chef and host — and avid car fan — Guy Fieri, who stopped by the Chevrolet display to sign autographs and visit with fans. The Corvette Club filled the Borders parking lot for what may have been one last time, since the bookstore chain is in the process of closing its stores.
And finally, one of the oldest car clubs in Birmingham reflected on what the Cruise is all about in the first place: bringing people together.
- For more: Westchester Car Club: 'Cars Bring People Together'
- For more: Corvette Club Enjoys Borders Lot for What Might Be the Last Time
- For more: Dream Cruise Snapshots: Guy Fieri Cookin' in Birmingham
Did you head out of town this weekend and miss all the action? Or were you there, streetside, all week long but miss the roar of engines already? Catch up with Patch's Saturday coverage of the Dream Cruise and Birmingham Cruise.
- Dream Cruise Viewfinder: Cruising Toward Sunset on Saturday
- Dream Cruise Viewfinder: Birmingham Wraps Up First Half of Cruise
- Dream Cruise Viewfinder: Views from High Above Birmingham and Guy Fieri!
- Dream Cruise Viewfinder: Preparing Birmingham to Go Cruisin'
- Dream Cruise Viewfinder: Chevy Prepares Centennial Display
For complete coverage from Ferndale, Berkley, Royal Oak and Bloomfield Hills, check out Woodward Dream Cruise Coverage from Patch: Photos, Videos, Profiles and Stories.
Plus, did you take photos during the Cruise? Make sure to submit them to Patch at Did You Photograph the Dream Cruise? Share Your Woodward Images With Patch Readers.