August 17, 2012 at 6:47 am

Momentum gathering for Saturday's classic car party

Event warms up with dance, parades, entertainment today

There are 52 Fridays in a year, but only one of them is a springboard to Michigan's high octane version of muscle car Mardi Gras.

For many people the best cruising, viewing and partying happens the day and evening before the official Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday.

Traffic on M-1 has been steadily building the week before the cruise (annually held the third Saturday of August) with the epicenter traditionally gravitating to the area near Duggan's Irish Pub and the Shell gas station, in Royal Oak.

On Thursday night, traffic on Woodward was light everywhere except in a one-mile stretch between 121/2 Mile and 131/2 Mile. Maybe it was the threat of rain that kept many cruisers and spectators away, but everyone else was having a great time.

Events for today include:

Classic car parade in Berkley starting at 6:30 p.m. at 12 Mile and Woodward Avenue to 12 Mile and Greenfield.

Tri-Community Coalition Street Dance at Griffith Road, north of 12 Mile, 7:30-9 p.m., in Berkley.

Classic car parade in downtown Pontiac beginning at 7 p.m.

Live entertainment, 4-8 p.m., on West Nine Mile, in Ferndale.

Expect police to close all cross streets at 10 p.m. today, diverting traffic to the mile roads, away from neighborhoods.

(313) 222-2023

Bill Gill gases up his 1966 AC Cobra at 14 Mile and Woodward on Thursday. Police will close all cross streets along the Dream Cruise route on Woodward beginning at 10 p.m. today, diverting traffic to the mile roads and away from neighborhoods. / Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News