By SUE SUCHYTA
and JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
Downriver loves its classic cars, and will prove it June 25 as Cruisin’ Downriver enters its 17th year of hosting the ride along a six-mile stretch of Fort Street.
The route starts at Southfield Road and Fort Street in Lincoln Park, and follows Fort through the cities of Southgate and Wyandotte, to Sibley Road in Riverview.
The cruise officially begins at 10 a.m. with a Mayors Ride beginning and ending in Riverview.
Riverview Mayor Andrew Swift said he will participate in the Mayors Ride in a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra Convertible, while Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson will ride in a 1964 Ford Galaxy convertible driven by Wyandotte resident Stan Rutkowski.
There is no fee to enter the cruise, and each city along the route will enforce traffic rules.
Fort Street will remain open, with cruisers encouraged to use the curb lanes northbound and southbound. Fort Street will remain open for all other drivers, and traffic signals will remain operational throughout the cruise.
Radio station WOMC-FM 104.3 will broadcast its classic hits live from each of the four cities along the route. Lincoln Park will host Steve Kostan from 2 to 8 p.m. at McCaffery’s Bar, 4210 Fort St.
Lincoln Park Recreation Coordinator Maureen Tobin said the city’s Summer Concert Series will have bands onstage at the Memorial Park Bandshell on both Friday night before the cruise and Saturday.
Live music begins at 5 p.m. June 24 as the city hosts Rockin’ Friday Cruise Night with More Alice – an Alice Cooper tribute band – followed by Crazy Baby at 7 p.m., an Ozzy Osbourne tribute group.
The weekend lineup continues on the day of the cruise, with local rockers Wisteria taking the stage at 5 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. performance of Toppermost, a Beatles tribute band.
Southgate welcomes WOMC’s Bobby Mitchell and Stacey DuFord from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at MacDonald’s, 16515 Fort St.
Retailers along Fort Street will be open for business during the cruise, with a special one-day-only sale planned at Thrifty Assets, 13736 Fort St., beginning at 10 a.m.
Advantage One Federal Credit Union, 13050 Fort St., will host classic rock station WCSX-FM 94.7 for a Classic Car Show with vendors, food, games and more. Stop by from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a peek at a 1961 Corvette. Special raffle tickets will be sold with proceeds benefitting Holy Cross Children’s Services.
Wyandotte features WOMC’s Beau Daniels from noon to 4 p.m. at Tire Traxx, 2102 Fort St., and Riverview is on-air with Jim Johnson from noon to 4 p.m. at Tubby’s Sub Shop, 18520 Fort St.
Participating car clubs include the Michigan Monte Carlo Club, Two Wheel Michigan, Heritage Car Showcase, Roam’n Chariots, Downriver Wanderers Classic Car Club, Downriver Kruzers and Detroit Area Mopar Muscle.
Wyandotte Superintendent of Recreation Justin Lanagan said the city does not officially take part in the cruise other than to help to close down turnarounds and to have police monitor traffic.
The cruise is sponsored by the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the cruise, go to cruisindownriver.com.