Dream Cruise Guide: Royal Oak
Woodward Dream Cruise-related events for Royal Oak, as well as everything you need to know to enjoy the car fest.
Royal Oak is often thought of as the hub of the Woodward Dream Cruise, with the lot at the southwest corner of 13 Mile and Woodward packed with classic cars and three restaurants in the city – Duggan's Irish Pub, Pasquale's and Olga's Kitchen – serving as official event eateries. The city's celebration also has a strong emphasis on family fun.
Where to watch
Royal Oak has the longest stretch of viewing opportunities along Woodward of any city participating in the Dream Cruise, from 10 Mile Road all the way up to 14 Mile Road.
The Royal Oak police will tell you Woodward at 13 Mile Road is the epicenter of the Dream Cruise and where the biggest crowds are.
The grassy medians might look like a great place to watch the cruising action, but Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goad pointed out they must remain clear for law enforcement vehicles and ambulances if they need to maneuver around traffic.
Cruisegoers can set up chairs and blankets between the sidewalk and curb, but sidewalks must remain clear.
Families with small children may consider watching near Pioneer Park at Woodward and Normandy where a Family Fun Zone will be set up for small children to race around.
For convenience, the city provides portable restrooms all along the Woodward corridor.
Where to park
Parking for the Dream Cruise is difficult. Most people park on residential streets and walk to Woodward. Be sure to observe any "No Stopping or Standing" signs and never obstruct fire hydrants, driveways or sidewalks. The Dream Cruise is not an excuse to break the rules.
There many metered parking spaces and three parking structures located in downtown Royal Oak, which is within walking distance (0.6 miles) of Woodward.
There are parking meters that accept credit and debit cards along parts of South Washington Avenue, between Fifth and Seventh streets, and in a Center Street parking area, south of Fifth and adjacent to the railroad tracks. The parking structures are located at Fourth and Center Street, Sixth and Lafayette and 11 Mile Road and Main Street near the Emagine Theatre.
If you plan to use coin meters, bring plenty of change. Royal Oak parking enforcement officers are notoriously good at their jobs. If you do get a parking ticket, you may pay the fine before leaving town by using the drop box at the 44th District Court and avoid paying late fees.
The final option is to simply enjoy the Dream Cruise from the comfort of your own car, classic or not. Any vehicle may drive down Woodward, but only classic cars should drive in the two curb lanes closet to the sidewalk to give spectators the best views.
There will also be free parking and a free shuttle from the Consumers Energy lot on Coolidge Highway south of 14 Mile Road.
Aug. 16, Kids Cruise: The third annual Kids Cruise will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Fifth and Sixth streets between Washington and Center. Children will be able to explore police cars, fire trucks, dump trucks and more. Other activities will include a musical petting farm and a classic car show from the Dead Last Car Club. There will be music entertainment and food, as well. At sundown, Gnomeo & Juliet will play on an outdoor movie screen.
Aug. 19, WWJ Newsradio 950 Motown Muscle Breakfast: Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser will participate in the Motown Muscle breakfast and panel discussion that also will include representatives from Ford and Chrysler. The panel will run from 8:15-9:30 a.m. at Duggan's and the new Camaro ZL1 will be on display. Register online.
Aug. 19, Performance Division and Performance Parts at Memorial Park: The Performance Division and Performance Parts display will be open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. The park will host more than 300 show cars that have been customized with performance enhancements, vendor displays and a food court.
Aug. 20, Chevy pit stops: Woodward Dream Cruise sponsor Chevrolet will set up air-conditioned pit stops 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Woodward where cruisers can have their classic cars photographed in front of murals depicting three historic diners. Cruisers also can enter a contest put on by classic music station WOMC, channel 104.3, to win prizes for the best classic Chevy photos and best overall car photos. The locations are:
- Art Van, 32310 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak (south of 14 Mile Road) – Ted's Drive In
- CVS, 30900 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak (at 13 Mile Road) – The Susie Q
- Jax Kar Wash, 27054 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak (at 11 Mile Road) – Totem Pole
"The public will be able to see all the cars online and pick their favorite," said Greg Rassel, Royal Oak's public service director and president of the Woodward Dream Cruise board.
Aug. 20, Family Fun Zone at Pioneer Park: Have small children? The Kroger Family Fun Zone will be located at Pioneer Park on Woodward north of Normandy. There will be clowns, face painting, inflatables and an entertainment stage 1-9 p.m.
Aug. 20, Performance Division and Performance Parts at Memorial Park: The Performance Division and Performance Parts display will be open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. The park will host more than 300 show cars that have been customized with performance enhancements, vendor displays and a food court.