Spectators: Dream Cruise Top 10

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

What's the Dream Cruise without crowds? Thousands flocked to the Woodward corridor this weekend to soak in the sights, smells and sounds of the classic, weird and rare autos cruising along the road. They brought their pets, children, folding chairs and umbrellas. Some even came decked out in costume.

10. Bring your own chair

People carry their folding chairs in hope of getting  a good viewing spot.

No couches, benches or reserved seating at the Cruise.

9. Seeking shade

Rudy Sawatzky, 66, of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, points as he and others seek shade under their umbrellas.

Before the rain hit, spectators huddled under colorful umbrellas to keep out of the August sun.

8. Souvenirs

Gail Jared of Ypsilanti holds up an official shirt at the EA Graphics booth, an official Woodward Dream Cruise merchandiser.

Gail Jared of Ypsilanti said the Dream Cruise should be a "bucket list" item for everyone.

"It just seems so peaceful; everybody seems so happy," said Jared, 60. "It's family orientated and there's something for everybody."

Classics: Dream Cruise Top 10

Jared said she's attended the Cruise for about 10 years with her husband, who displays his 1972 Grand Prix. But for Jared, the event isn't all about cars.

"I enjoy everything. I love people watching, I love car watching, I love the music, I love eating out," Jared said, with a laugh. "I love the little kids, when they hoot and holler, (saying) 'Rev it up!' "

When she is focused on cars, Jared likes to spot Ford T-Birds and Chevrolet Chevelles, which are her dream cars, she said. The couple set up shop on Saturday outside Duggan's Irish Pub in Royal Oak, in search of good food and live music.

"We were out there probably about six hours," Jared said.

Part of the trip included a bit of shopping at the EA Graphics booth, an official Woodward Dream Cruise merchandiser. Jared had her eyes on a light blue tank top with a purple "Dream Cruise" logo when she said police officers stopped by with a warning about bad weather approaching.

"A couple of police officers came by and said that we may want to move or leave because a bad storm was going to be coming in and I never made it back to that stand," Jared said. "We went and got our car and we drove around for a while, but (the storm) never did come until we were on our way home.

"So darn it, I wish we had stayed."

Weather woes aside, Jared called Saturday the "perfect" day.

"There's not one thing that I can say bad about that place," she said of the Cruise.

7. Four-legged spectator

Robert Ladnier of Detroit sits with his sister Christina and his dog Gilligan to watch the cars on Woodward in Ferndale.

Gilligan the dog appeared more interested in our cameras than the cars cruising nearby.

6. Along for the ride

Gage Dolinski, 3, of Bloomfield Township, rides on the shoulders of his aunt / godmother Leslie Dolinski, 56, of Rochester Hills.

Gage Dolinski, 3, takes a cruise of his own, no car necessary.

5. Thirsty Cruisers

Jennifer Proescher of Detroit hands out water bottles on behalf of Art Van to drivers on Woodward.

Hydrated cruisers are the best cruisers.

4. Picture perfect

Chris Micha, 55, takes pictures of cruisers with his son, Markus, right, 13, both of Farmington Hills.

Thirteen-year-old Markus Micha is following in his car-loving father's footsteps.

"He’s pretty into cars, on his own, with no encouragement from me," said Markus' father, Chris Micha, a 55-year-old Fiat-Chrysler employee based out of the Auburn-Hills headquarters. "A lot of guys try to live vicariously through their sons and I don’t. It’s just, 'What is he interested in?' And that happens to be what I do, or in the field anyway."

Weirdest Rides: Dream Cruise Top 10

Father and son spent the first part of Saturday camped along Woodward near 13 Mile, where the elder Micha estimates he snapped 1,200 to 1,400 photographs of cruising cars. He'll "boil that down to the best of the best" before distributing his collection internally among out-of-town colleagues unable to attend the Cruise.

"It's just something I do for fun, out of courtesy," said Micha, who picked up photography as a hobby in college. "I do something similar for the auto show."

As morning turned to mid-day, father and son packed up their camera gear and took to the streets, taking in the sights together.

"He likes the newer cars and I like the older ones," Micha said.

The two have come to the Cruise together since Markus around five years old, his father said. It's always a special day for the pair.

"This year I specifically asked Markus (if we should bring) my younger son, who's 8 years old," Micha said. "Markus was like 'No, that's my time with you.' "

3. Father & son

Sgt. Brandon Cole, places his son William, 3, on a motorcycle at the Lights and Sirens Parade in Ferndale on Friday Aug. 19, 2016.

Who needs cars when we have motorcycles?

2. Cruising for awareness

Ashlee Runyon of Auburn Hills supports her sister Victoria, who has autism.

With thousands of cars and even more spectators, the Dream Cruise provided a gigantic stage for Ashlee Runyon's hunt for autism awareness.

1. The King

Bill Holwig of Livonia dressed as the "King of the Cruise" watches his 20th Dream Cruise.

Bill Holwig's "King of the Cruise" title was bestowed upon him by accident, thanks to his giant camping chair, he said.

"As soon as I bought that chair, people were driving by and yelling, 'You look like a king on a throne,' " said Holwig, 64 of Livonia. "It happened a few times and I kind of laughed about it. But then it got to be more and more people. And then one year, someone came by and gave me one of those folding Burger King crowns.

"Then it really got ridiculous."

The King has attended 20 Dream Cruises from his signature spot along the west side of Woodward near Art Van.

"I only missed the very first one and I missed last year because I was in Saudi Arabia working," said Holwig, a construction engineer and lawyer.

For Holwig, the King of the Cruise gig has only heightened an already festive day.

"I've got cars -- convertibles -- of people standing up and bowing," he said. "It’s been just an absolute riot, sitting there listening to the comments from everyone. It’s just part of the joy of the Cruise, and something a little out of the ordinary."