Art & Entertainment, Culture, Detroit City Guide, Feature Story

Photographing the Woodward Dream Cruise from My Minivan

Did you go to see the Woodward Dream Cruise last weekend?

Travis and I took our three little ones to the Dream Cruise. It was actually an accident that we happened to attend the event. We were driving down Big Beaver in Troy (Michigan) and next thing we knew we were stuck in one-lane traffic.

“What do you want to do?” Travis asked me.

I said just keep going until we hit Woodward Avenue. We could spare a couple of hours cruising down Woodward. So we got the kids some Happy Meals and made our way down to Dream Cruise.

Woodward Dream Cruise 2019
Zhen and I thought this vintage van with sharpie drawings was pretty interesting. Could you imagine if your kids took a sharpie and drew on your car?

It was nice to take a drive down Woodward with the kids. It was a very sunny day and terribly hot outside. Still worth it to go!

We loved looking at all of the different cars. Zhen (age 6) was excited to see a woman driving a Mini Mouse car. I tried explaining to Zhen what the Dream Cruise is all about and the best way I could think to describe it was like this:

The Dream Cruise happens every summer. It’s like a big car parade that lasts all day and night!

She seemed satisfied with my answer. Although, Zhen did ask me if there would be a carnival and cotton candy. Is there a place nearby that has a carnival for Dream Cruise? I honestly don’t know. We didn’t drive the entirety of Woodward Avenue.

Next year, I am making it a personal goal to cruise down Woodward from Detroit all the way to Pontiac! Do you normally do that when you go to the Dream Cruise?

Or do you like to find a place to park, sit with your family and friends, and watch the cars cruise down Woodward? I think it would be fun to do both!

Dream Cruise Detroit
Herbie!

I took quite a few photos while riding in our minivan. Travis drove while I took the pictures from the passenger seat. I just kept shooting my camera hoping I got a few good shots. I think I did. You’ll have to let me know what you think.

I’m not even going to pretend I’m a car person (LOL!) so you won’t find any details about the vehicles in the photos.

I wasn’t planning on taking a lot of photos of the Dream Cruise. I brought my camera bag with me for just in case we saw something cool.

Dream Cruise
Travis driving down Woodward.
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise 2019– it was fun going down Woodward and looking at all of the vehicles in the city.

I didn’t pull my camera out until 30 minutes into our trip. I just decided to take photos of what I saw from right where I was sitting. You may notice that from the blur motion in a few of the photos.

Woodward Dream Cruise
The blurry photos look cool to me. What do you think?
Woodward Dream Cruise
Many people find places along Woodward Avenue to park their cars for the Woodward Dream Cruise. Having a cookout is also really popular.
Dream Cruise Detroit
Loved seeing all of the cool cars at the Woodward Dream Cruise!

SEE THE FULL SET OF MY WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE PHOTOS

Since I took so many photographs, I decided to share a few of my favorite photos from our time at Woodward Dream Cruise.

You can see the full set of my photographs on this post here also featured on Good Life Detroit.

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit (@ goodlifedetroit on FB, IG, and Twitter)

Woodward Dream Cruise
Many businesses host parties on Dream Cruise Day. Some you have to pay for or are free to the public. A few parties are private invite-only.
Woodward Dream Cruise
This red car is giving me 90s vibes!
Woodward Dream Cruise
Classic cars at the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Dream Cruise Detroit

FOUR FUN FACTS ABOUT WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE

  • The Woodward Dream Cruise was established on August 19, 1995.
  • It’s the largest one-day automotive event in the world!
  • About 1.5 million people attend the Dream Cruise and 40,000 classic cars are featured in the event. (My question is how do they compile all of the data on this?!)
  • Woodward Dream Cruise was initially created to be a fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale.

In the four years, we’ve been living in Michigan, this was our second time visiting the Woodward Dream Cruise. We weren’t able to attend the event in 2017 because I had just given birth to Zephaniah. Last year, we were visiting another event so we didn’t make it to the Dream Cruise.

Woodward Dream Cruise
You never know what kind of vehicle you may see at the Woodward Dream Cruise. That includes beautiful motorcycles like this one I spotted on Woodward.
Woodward Dream Cruise
This bike is too cool!
Detroit bike life
At first, I wasn’t sure if this was a bicycle or a motorcycle! It’s too cool!
Woodward Dream Cruise
Passing Fiat.
Woodward Dream Cruise
It was a very hot and sunny day on Dream Cruise Day!

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit (@ goodlifedetroit on FB, IG, and Twitter)


CREATING OUR OWN FAMILY TRADITIONS AT WOODWARD DREAM CRUISE

That Saturday night, I uploaded to my Instagram Stories a few photos and the short video clips I recorded from Dream Cruise. On one of my videos, I had said I was trying to understand Woodward Dream Cruise.

“Is it about a celebration of cars because this is the ‘Motor City’?” I asked in the video.

Later, I ended up reading up on how the Woodward Dream Cruise was originally created. According to the official website, the event was created by Nelson House and a group of volunteers. It was intended to be a fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale.

It’s amazing how much the Dream Cruise has grown over the years. Millions of people come to Detroit just to take part in the one-day car festival. I am still trying to fathom that!

My family and I are not from Michigan, but I love that we can take one of Detroit’s cherished car tradition and make it our family’s new summer tradition!

Woodward Dream Cruise
Nice! I don’t know what kind of car this is, but I really like it!
Woodward Dream Cruise
Seeing this car made me think of drag racing from the classic movies.
Woodward Dream Cruise
Woodward Dream Cruise
Daddy keeping watch over the three Z’s because they like to take off running!
Woodward Dream Cruise
Travis and Zhen checking out a Volkswagen Beetle display.
Woodward Dream Cruise
Sweet ride! I’d love to go cruising in a car like this on Sunday afternoon.
Woodward Dream Cruise
Shiny and red.

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit (@ goodlifedetroit on FB, IG, and Twitter)

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What are your thoughts?