Kids Cruise attempts to boost downtown lull during week
BY STEVE KOWALSKI • ECCENTRIC STAFF WRITER • AUGUST 9, 2009
ROYAL OAK — If Woodward is reserved for the “big kids” to cruise and relive their youth, then the Downtown Development Authority has something planned for the rest of the kids not quite old enough to drive.
The first-annual Kids Cruise, along Fifth and Center streets in downtown, will be held 4-10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11.
The Downtown Development Authority is sponsoring the event to help promote downtown business, which has historically struggled the week of the Woodward Dream Cruise presented by MotorCity Casino Hotel, according to Stephanie McIntyre, downtown manager for the DDA.
“The general feeling in town is, it would be great to get some of those people (on Woodward) over our way,” McIntyre said.
The official day for the 15th annual Dream Cruise is Saturday, Aug. 15, but organizers expect cruisers and spectators to gather all week in anticipation.
The Kids Cruise won’t actually be a cruise, unless some decide to bring a Big Wheel type ride. But it’ll definitely be a place for kids and their parents to gather for fun, according to McIntyre.
“We’re in the stretch drive (of planning),” she said.
Though the Kids Cruise will only cover two city blocks, and a parking lot at Sixth and Center, businesses from throughout the downtown are planning sidewalk sales, McIntyre said. Some restaurants will be offering two for one specials, she added.
Entertainment will included Oldies music and other tunes from the Mydols, The Candy Band and Detroit School of Rock and Pop. The latter is a music school for children aged 12-16, a few years older than the children expected for the Kids Cruise.
Jason Gittinger, who owns Detroit School of Rock and Pop with his wife, Sherry, said the Flawluss Vikteree and Collision Course are scheduled to play for the Kids Cruisers.
“It’ll be exciting and sort of inspirational for the younger kids seeing someone slightly older than them doing something they might enjoy themselves,” Gittinger said.
Gittinger is a professional musician who said he has always been out of town performing during past Dream Cruise events. From all he’s heard, he thinks the Kids Cruise will be a complementary event.
“Anything that gets people together as a community is good in my book,” he said. “It’s kid friendly and helping downtown in challenging times.”