Cruisin’ Downriver to get rolling Thursday

Sunday Times file photo

Sunday Times file photo


An estimated half million classic car fans will line Fort Street from Lincoln Park to Riverview Saturday for the 11th annual Cruisin’ Downriver. The carfest will begin earlier than ever before with the first-ever Cruisin’ Downriver Kickoff Car Show from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday near the corner of Eureka Road and Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte.

Car show jump starts 11th annual event

Cruisin’ Downriver, one of the region’s largest and most-anticipated annual classic car cruises, will get an early jump-start this year, as organizers get set to roll out a first-ever “Cruisin’ Downriver Kickoff Car Show,” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday near the corner of Eureka Road and Biddle Avenue in Wyandotte.

The event will serve as the official start of the 11th annual Downriver carfest, which will culminate Saturday when upwards of 500,000 participants and spectators descend on Fort Street through the communities of Lincoln Park, Wyandotte, Southgate and Riverview.

Some communities are the sites of various special car-related events Friday evening as well.

The emphasis throughout the three days of activity is on family fun, said Sandy Mull, interim president of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber, one of the lead organizers for the event.

“There is no way to measure the economic impact of an event like the cruise, but certainly cruisers and spectators buy food and gas, and some of them stay in local hotels,” Mull said. “But the real benefit of Cruisin’ Downriver is that it’s a true community event. It’s not a fundraiser, nor does it have a political agenda. It’s just a family-oriented day of fun for all of Downriver and the surrounding area.”

Thursday’s kickoff is being sponsored by the chamber along with WOMC-FM 104.3 and the city of Wyandotte — all of which will present trophies at the event. It will be held in the Chase Bank parking lot, 3200 Biddle Ave.

Registration is required, and the show will be limited to the first 200 entries. The entry fee is $20 per vehicle and includes a spot in the show, a 2010 Cruisin’ Downriver T-shirt and a dash plaque.

Spectators are welcome. However, attendees are advised to park in areas surrounding the event location, which will be reserved for contestants only.

Registration forms are available at www.cruisindownriver.com, along with the offices of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber. 20600 Eureka Road, Suite 315, Taylor.

Entry forms, along with a check or money order for $20, must be submitted to the chamber. The 11th annual Cruisin’ Downriver will begin at 10 a.m. June 26.

Mull said Cruisin’ Downriver appeals to a broad spectrum of people. There is no charge to attend, so families and car lovers of all ages come out in force.

There also is no registration fee for the cruise itself.

Preferred access to the cruise route is Southfield Freeway, but other access will be permitted.

Mull said organization and planning for the cruise is a cooperative effort of the chamber and other participants. Meijer is the major sponsor; other key sponsors include AT&T, Co-op Services Credit Union, Holiday Inn Southgate and Wal-Mart.

Additional information can be obtained at www.cruisindownriver.com.