08/16/2012 08:21 am ET Updated Aug 16, 2012

Woodward Dream Cruise 2012: Alternative Events And Activities In Detroit

It's almost here -- have you stocked up on bottled water and canned goods? Planned an escape route? Scheduled a last-minute trip fleeing Detroit?

It's not an apocalypse or zombie invasion, but the 18th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, revered and reviled in equal measure.

While some have already begun to drive up and down the Avenue or are packing their Model Ts with care for the trip, there are plenty who dread America's biggest car parade. The Dream Cruise officially only lasts Saturday but tends to spill into surrounding days, bringing more than 40,000 classic cars and a million visitors to the area.

Some may say the Dream Cruise is a major Motor City event, extolling the virtues of the tradition replete with a haze of exhaust and branded t-shirt swag. But despite offering drivers an imitation of the 50s and 60s "cruising" pastime, the drive that takes over one of the metro area's main arteries is still in its teenage years.

The Cruise also causes headaches for local residents and business owners, a problem the Magic Bag Theater on Woodward has called attention to with scornful and hilarious marquee slogans condemning the Cruisers. The traffic causes detours and delays for SMART bus riders and does not deign to drive into Detroit itself, instead cruising 16 miles from 8 Mile Road to downtown Pontiac. That's why we've come up with alternative events for those who aren't looking forward to the the heavy traffic and car craze.

Head on over to the Woodward Dream Cruise official website or just set up your folding chair at 9 Mile Road and Woodward if you're content with the main event. But if not, check out our list below of activities that don't require a roadster for a good time.

Flickr photo by Patricia Drury has been modified.

Woodward Dream Cruise 2012: Alternative Events And Activities