Donielle Flynn

Royal Oak: Woodward 2023 out for the cruise with WCSX.

There is always something going on in Royal Oak. When I think of Royal Oak, I think of the Detroit Zoo, Arts, Beats, & Eats, and the Cruise on Woodward. Congratulations, Royal Oak: City Of The Week with WCSX!  Scroll down to learn more about Royal Oak and its history!

With a location that’s tough to beat, Royal Oak crosses paths with I-75 and I-696 plus another major thoroughfare, Woodward Avenue. You’re never too far away from Royal Oak.

Royal Oak City Roots

The Royal Oak website dates its establishment as a township on January 23, 1819. Royal Oak became a village on March 18, 1891. George A. Dondero had the honor of being the first mayor. In 1921, Royal Oak officially became a city with a fast-growing population of 6,000.  Today nearly 60,000 people call Royal Oak home.

My Thoughts on the City

In addition to tons of community events throughout the year, Royal Oak offers up some delicious cuisine and shopping for items that make me love shopping IRL.  Looking at the community as a whole, the DDA seems to be very involved and supportive of local shop owners which is key.  In my years and years of travel with City of The Week, I will tell you that communities that have a strong support system for the local shops, do not have a lot of open space.

Today’s Royal Oak is always a great time (once you get past parking). You know what I’m talking about. The parking can be triggering.  A year or so ago, Royal Oak put reverse parking in on several main strips. You now have to back into parking spots which can be a bit awkward.  PRO TIP: for the love of God, use the parking decks.  I don’t have to worry about getting shafted by meters or risk a fender-bender trying to back in with traffic. I love Royal Oak, but yes, I said it.

Hey kids!  Let’s find out more…

Royal Oak Nuggets of Information

  • More Cowbell!

    Royal Oak started with farmers. The majority of Royal Oak’s early settlers came from New York, among them, Orson Starr. Orson was the township’s first manufacturer. He was known for making cowbells. Orson’s cowbells can still be found!

    Orson built his home in 1845. It still stands on Main Street! states that the home and the district around it have historical designation.

  • Winter Is Coming...

    A few years back, Royal Oak added the The Rink at Royal Oak to its impressive list of things to do.  Winter Blast is a fairly new event to Royal Oak.  This year it falls on February 2-4th, 2024.  The event is free to enter for the community.  Winter Blast also offers ziplining, ice skating, live music, a kids’ zone, and more. The event gets more popular every year.  In 2023, more than 65,000 people visited Winter Blast in Royal Oak.

    Winter Blast Royal Oak

    Returning to Downtown Royal Oak in 2024! Winter Blast Royal Oak presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is a free admission community event that will take place February 2-4, 2024 in and around Centennial Commons and the Royal Oak City Center.

  • The Detroit Zoo

    When I was in kindergarten, we took a trip to the zoo. I still remember that day. It was a big deal for 5-year-old me. Current elementary schools still do their best to hold on to the tradition despite the changing landscape (and prices for transportation).  I love our Detroit Zoo.  It’s a great way to spend the day.  The Detroit Zoo is also known for its events like Zoo Boo and Wild Lights.

    woman standing in front of a Detroit Zoo bus in Royal Oak

    Doni stands next to the Detroit Zoo bus in Royal Oak. If you love the zoo, Doni highly recommends the season pass.


  • The Cruise On Woodward

    Let’s pull back the curtain for a second and talk about copyrights.  Due to copyright issues, there’s only one radio station that is allowed to name this event correctly and fully.  The rest of us have had to dance around it for decades.  The Cruise on Woodward has been going on since 1995.  The event began as a way to raise money for soccer fields in Ferndale. The 2024 Woodward Dream Cruise will take place on August 17th. I love the energy of the Cruise.  It’s always a fun day but even better when Mother Nature hooks us up.  The weather last year for the Cruise was perfect!  Here are some of the pictures we caught:

    Cruising Woodward in Royal Oak 2023
  • Arts Beats & Eats

    Every Labor Day weekend for the last 10+ years, I’ve made my way to Royal Oak to enjoy Arts Beats & Eats. It’s four days of exactly what you think: art, live music, and delicious food.  I love to wander Arts Beats & Eats every year.  It’s also another charity-inspired event. Last year alone, local non-profit charities in our area received a total of $386,000 from this Royal Oak event (money figure courtesy of If you would like to see more pics from AB&E 2023, check this out:


    Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak: 2023 Gallery
  • Glen Frey Called Royal Oak Home

    Big Jim’s house helped make Glen Frey Drive a reality in Royal Oak.  The street is located right across from Glen’s high school, Dondero. During Covid, we honored Glen Frey with his own City of The Week in Royal Oak and let a bunch of folks get their germy hands on the sign. 🙂

    City of the Week – Royal Oak / Glenn Frey

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