August 20, 2012 at 1:00 am

Cruisers extend fun into Sunday

An estimated 1.35 million people attended Saturday; police report no major incidents

Stanley Bourbon, a team leader for Fanatic U, takes down a Dream Cruise merchandise display Sunday in Royal Oak. (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)

Detroit — Car lovers from the Grosse Pointes to Germany turned out in droves for the 18th annual Woodward Dream Cruise.

And some cruisers weren't ready to pack it up on Sunday, a day after the cruise ended with an estimated 1.35 million spectators, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said, up from 1.1 million last year.

Car enthusiasts packed diners and bought last-minute keepsakes to remember the Cruise.

Dozens of car-watchers pulled out their lawn chairs one more day and congregated in the Northwood Shopping Center at 13 Mile and Woodward, where businesses cashing in on Cruise merchandise weren't too far away.

A handful of T-shirt stands in Birmingham and Royal Oak were still selling souvenirs to the remaining faithful. That included Advanced Screenprinting, which was hoping to eke out more sales before the cleanup crews arrived.

Advanced Screenprinting produced the merchandise for the official Cruise in the first two years.

Now owner Karen Wrubel said it sells Dream Cruise apparel independently.

"I think we were expecting more since Birmingham came back into the picture," said Wrubel, who was helping with sales at a stand at Lincoln and Woodward.

"It was a lot of car traffic, but not a lot of foot traffic."

Wrubel said their Royal Oak location did much better, keeping overall sales on par with other years.

"It's constant for today," she said.

"Yesterday was kind of a constant flow, not really, really busy. So it's kind of comparable to other years."

However, people who bought their Cruise wear today may have been able to take advantage of clearance prices.

New businesses like Vinsetta Garage in Berkley had to "batten down the hatches" the week leading up to the Cruise.

"We were a little different because we were green-horning for the Cruise, it being our first year," said co-owner Curt Catallo.

"We knew it was going to be busy, but we underestimated how fun it would be."

The restaurant, which opened in June, was still packed Sunday with fans.

"I just think when you look out on Woodward a Saturday night like that, there's no other city in the world that can do that," he said.

Local police said most of the more than a million people gathered along Woodward were on their best behavior.

There were only four arrests in Royal Oak, police said. No one was hurt, and there were no accidents reported, said Royal Oak's Deputy Chief Gordon Young.

"Nothing out of the ordinary," Young said. "For the size of the crowds and to have no major incidents, that is very successful."

Young said his department issued 238 violations, 137 of which were for carrying open alcohol.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office had to use a department helicopter to break up large crowds that gathered in Pontiac on Saturday night after the Cruise ended.

Two separate fights broke out around 10:44 p.m., including one involving up to 60 people near Raeburn and Woodward.

The helicopter used a floodlight to force the crowd to disperse.

tbriscoe@detnews.com

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