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Local News / Entertainment

Wednesday, 2 February, 2011 10:14 AM

Winter activities, music line-up announced for 2011 Motown Winter Blast

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano addresses the media during a press conference for the 2011 Motown Winter Blast.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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DETROIT -- Right now seems like a great time to hold the Motown Winter Blast with about 14 inches of snow hitting metro Detroit. However, you still have to wait until the weekend of Feb. 11 - 13 to attend the festival. The big news is that the 210-foot by 32-foot high snow slide is back, with sponsorship from the Ambassador Bridge Company. Secondly, there will be about eight to ten more bands performing at this year's Winter Blast when compared to last year. All signs are a "go" for the return of the Motown Winter Blast in downtown Detroit.

Organizers of the Motown Winter Blast announced this information at the final press conference before the festival. It took place last Thursday inside the Eclipz Lounge at the Greektown Casino in downtown Detroit.

"It was easy when we reached out to the folks at the Ambassador Bridge," said Executive Producer Jon Witz. "They thought that bringing the slide back was more than just a slide. It will lift up the festival, bring more people to the downtown. We have a big fundraising campaign to bring food and books for admission to the event. I think it's a sign that the festival is uplifted and more people are going to come down. We've got better food than we ever had. Fifteen restaurants are going to be serving food."

Back in December, Witz was looking for an additional sponsor to provide up to $25,000 to bring back the snow slide. Matty Moroun and his Ambassador Bridge Company came through. Now, the snow slide will be a reality and it will be FREE from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, there will be snow shoeing, dog sledding and marshmallow roasting. Hours of the 2011 Winter Blast are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

"The idea was fantastic when we did the Winter Blast around the Super Bowl," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. "With the economic challenges, it was harder to keep it going, but it's continued to grow now. With the slide coming back for this year's festivities, I think it's a great thing for your family to do to come down and have a great time whether your sliding, listening to music or visiting one of the restaurants. It's a great thing to celebrate for Detroit."

The GM Foundation Taste of Detroit is returning to the festival after several years. Some of metro Detroit's best restaurants will be offering tastes of their specialties at the Winter Blast. The Detroit Seafood Market, Cuisine Restaurant, La Marsa and Lockhart's BBQ will have booths set up at the festival. If you're not into that, there will be carnival food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, elephant ears and much more.

"We're going to be at the Winter Blast on Saturday and Sunday in the atrium of the Compuware Building from Noon to 3 p.m.," said Radio Disney-Detroit Promotions Manager Brian Christy. "Our D-Tour Show is a big, live show for kids and families to take part in. With our partners at the DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, there's a chance to register to win for a trip to ESPN The Weekend in Orlando, Florida. There will be a lot of stuff happening. It's a great time for families to come on out, let loose and enjoy the day."

Three different stages of music will be providing entertainment to attendees all weekend long for FREE. There will be music from just about every genre including country, rock, blues, pop, acoustic, Americana, funk and soul. Over 40 of Detroit's best local bands will be performing. Some of this year's headliners include Larry Lee, Reverend Right Time, The Reefermen, Persuasion, Cliff Gracey, Frankie D'Angelo and Stewart Francke.

"We're going to have another diverse line-up of bands at the Winter Blast," Witz added. "A mix of everything that will join a great line-up of winter festivities. More family activities, kids entertainment. There will be a Meijer Kids Stage. Flagstar Bank and Michigan Lottery are sponsoring stages. We have to focus on the logistics: getting the snow made and having the ice sculptures. It's the only weekend that you can skate for free at Campus Martius Park."

The official Winter Blast After Party will be at the Greektown Casino on Friday night for all attendees above the age of 21. A bar blast will be held on Saturday evening for just $5. That cost is used to pay for the shuttle service between the five bars: Big City, Pulse Lounge, Fishbone's, Old Shillelagh and Centaur. All weekend long, the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel is offering a discounted rate of $129, which includes overnight parking for one vehicle. Guests are asked to show the Winter Blast program in order to get the special rate.

For more information on the Motown Winter Blast, visit www.winterblast.com.

Related Story: 2011 Motown Winter Blast to feature new sponsors, family activities and extended hours

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Greektown Casino Owner Marvin Beatty talks about the Winter Blast After Party.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Winter Blast Executive Producer Jon Witz

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Nora Moroun announces the return of the snow slide.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Radio Disney-Detroit Promotions Manager Brian Christy

 

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