By Sarah Shurge – Mark your calendars because the annual car cruise, Cruisin’ US12 is quickly approaching. The event will be happening on July 10th from about 10AM to 10PM.
For the 15th year in a row, Michigan Avenue and downtown Wayne will be packed with classic and custom cars. But this year, downtown is going to look a little different.
The City of Wayne Downtown Development Authority has partnered with the cruise to facilitate family friendly activities up and down Michigan Ave.
This year there will be pit stops down Michigan Ave for the community to enjoy. There will be two air conditioned shuttles running every 15 minutes from 2nd St. to Newburgh Rd. to transport people from stop to stop.
Each stop will be marked with a sign and shuttles will be marked as well.
The first stop is on 2nd St. in Veteran’s Plaza. There will be a large vendor show with 30-40 vendors. There will also be two food trucks. One selling deep fried oreos and funnel cakes. The other is a taco truck.
The second stop is on Towne Square St. behind the PNC Bank. This stop is called the Family Fun Zone.
There is going to be a block party at the Wayne Historical Museum. Between the church and the museum, there is going to be a flea market. There will also be a craft and game area for kids, along with a bounce house and a DJ.
There will be two food trucks at the second stop as well. Good Eats Grill selling hamburgers, chicken tenders, and more. And Kona Ice selling snow cones and shaved ice.
The third stop will be at Karma Coffee Shop & Kitchen on Michigan Ave, past Sophia St.. They will be serving ice cream and have an outdoor family friendly event.
The fourth stop will be at Kurt’s Caps on Michigan Ave, past Clark St. They will be serving popcorn and water. Kurt’s Caps will also be selling shirts and have an outdoor family friendly event as well. This stop has a bathroom available for the public.
The fifth and final stop is at Jack Demmer Ford, Inc. on Michigan Ave, before Newburgh Rd. Jack Demmer is working with the DDA and Ford Motor Company is allowing Jack Demmer to display the new Ford Bronco at this stop.
This stop will also have a car show and three food trucks. There will be a lobster truck, The Grill Father will be selling BBQ, and Rafic’s Falafel will be selling things like chicken wraps.
All of the food trucks at each stop will be running from 11AM-2PM. Trucks may stay later if they choose to.
Other pit stops along Michigan Ave are US12 Bar and Grill on the corner of 2nd St. with live music and a bathroom available for the public. Blast Cornhole will be in Derby’s Alley in between 2nd St. and Wayne Rd. Along with Benders Downtown Wayne next to US12.
Harry J. Will Funeral Homes on Michigan Ave, past 4th St. is also a pit stop and is having a car show event in the morning. Come around 11AM for hot cake and hot rods. Donations will be accepted.
A porta potty will be stationed at Jack Demmer, along with two porta potties at the museum and church for the block party.
Each pit stop will have a double checkered flag marked outside.
“I’m excited to see the DDA partner with the cruise this year to get more businesses involved,” said Mayor John Rhaesa.
Parking lots in downtown are hosting local car clubs, while other cars will be driving up and down Michigan Ave. Thousands of cars show up each year for the cruise, and there are lots of regulars and crowd favorites expected to make an appearance.
You can bring a lawn chair and find a spot to sit on the side of Michigan Ave to watch the action in between visiting the nine pit stops throughout downtown.
“The fans love it. They are die hard,” said John Goci.
Goci has been involved with the cruise for over 10 years. He kept the cruise alive when it got renamed to Cruisin’ US12 after the Michigan Ave Cruise left for Westland. He runs the Facebook page for the cruise. You can find it by searching Cruisin’ US12.
As things in Michigan begin to head back into the direction of normal, Cruisin’ US12 is a great opportunity for people to come out, walk downtown, and enjoy themselves with all the classic cars and new activities the cruise has to offer.
When you’re in downtown Wayne, you might catch Goci cruising down Michigan Ave. in his brother Scott Gocaj’s 1969 red Cougar.
“Downtown really makes it special. It’s about the town, to showcase our auto heritage. It’s perfect for cruising,” said Goci.
If Cruisin’ US12 leaves you wanting more car events, don’t worry, US12 Bar and Grill has got you covered with weekly events that started at the end of May and will continue throughout summer.
Saturday is Car Shows from 5PM through 9PM in the US12 parking lot. Thursday is Jeep Night from 5PM through 9PM in the parking lot. And Wednesday is Minivan Mom Night from 5PM to close with $3 Daiquiris and select drinks/shots.