The Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the biggest events in Michigan all year, with 1.2 million people attending and over 40,000 hot rods, exotics, antiques and oddities coming from near and far to one of the world's most storied roads. Yet each year businesses on the cruise route complain that the annual event actually hurts their bottom line. It isn't so much the weekend that kills profits as it is the fact that cruisers plug up Woodward for the entire week before the big cruise on Saturday.

Organizers of the big event may have helped these businesses by transforming the Woodward-centric cruise into a nine day mega-event that spans into the city of Detroit and other surrounding areas. Some of the new events includes a low-rider competition to kick off the event on August 8 to an AutoblogGreen-friendly green car show, motorcycle show, and a Model T event. Sprinkling cruise events around southeast Michigan will give traveling cruisers a better reason to turn their long cruise weekend into a week-long vacation, which will be great for the ailing Michigan economy, as well. With an event as popular as the Dream Cruise, it's a wonder that it took nearly 15 years for local business leaders to capitalize on the event in any meaningful way. We'll be sure to hit as many events as we possibly can, with plenty of pictures and videos for those of you that don't plan on heading into the mitten state.

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[Source: Detroit News]