It's official: Woodward Dream Cruise to rev back up Aug. 21

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

It's now official: the Woodward Dream Cruise will return this summer.

Event organizers and Ford Motor Co., which is sponsoring the cruise, confirmed as much Monday following reports last month that the event was back on track after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 26th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, a celebration of automotive culture that typically draws more than 1 million attendees, is slated to roll Saturday, Aug. 21.

Though the 2020 Woodward Dream Cruise was cancelled, thousands gathered for an unofficial version of the event.

The event will pay homage to the Ford Bronco SUV, which earlier this month went back into production at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, 25 years after it was discontinued. The original 1966 Bronco will be the "featured heritage vehicle" of the cruise, and the event's logo depicts a vintage Bronco. 

"Woodward is our hometown celebration, commemorating the best of what we do and what we assemble — right here in the Motor City," Rob Johnston, Ford Performance marketing manager, said in a statement. "It's fitting that this year's Dream Cruise honors the original Bronco at a time when the all-new, Michigan-built Bronco is rolling off the line."

The logo for the 2021 Woodward Dream Cruise depicts a Ford Bronco.

Ford will have other vehicles on display at the event, including the new 2021 Mustang Mach-E, the automaker's first fully-electric vehicle, the forthcoming all-electric 2022 F-150 Lightning, and the recently-unveiled Ford Maverick compact pickup truck, the company said in a news release. This marks the automaker's fourth straight year sponsoring the event.

"Once again, Ford Motor Company is stepping up to lead Woodward Dream Cruise, and we look forward to returning and elevating our annual tradition that puts Metro Detroit's automotive scene and culture in the international spotlight," Tony Michaels, executive director of the Dream Cruise, said in a statement.

In April, Michaels said that communities along the Woodward route, venues and sponsors already were coordinating the event.

M1 Concourse in Pontiac, which is one of the communities the cruise includes, has confirmed two events for Cruise week, The Detroit News previously reported: Roadkill Nights drag-racing on Woodward Aug. 13-14 and the inaugural, Aug.19-21 Woodward Dream Show featuring the Cruise’s most coveted cars. Both events were canceled in 2020.

Last year's Dream Cruise had been scheduled for Aug. 15, but the event was called off after several of the municipalities along the 10-mile route raised concerns about the pandemic.

Even so, thousands of people showed up for an unofficial version of the cruise.

The return of the event comes as Michigan continues to make strides against COVID-19. 

Case rates and hospitalizations have been decreasing for eight weeks and the statewide positivity rate has dropped to 3.4%, the News reported Monday. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration plans to lift most pandemic-related restrictions Tuesday. And as of Sunday, 60.8% of Michigan residents over age 16 had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski