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<< News >>

Local News / Entertainment

Sunday, 14 February, 2010 12:01 PM

Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast 
Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast 
~~ GREAT TIMES AND COOL EVENTS ~~

* The 2010 Motown Winter Blast is now underway at Campus Martius Park *

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano cuts a ribbon made of ice to kick off the Motown Winter Blast on Feb. 12, 2010.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

(includes public officials and attendees)

DETROIT -- There are five things going on this weekend: the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the opening of the romantic comedy Valentine's Day, the holiday itself, my older sister's birthday, and the Detroit Winter Blast. Though it started a little late due to the recent winter storm, it still hasn't put a crimp on the schedule -- well, maybe a little.

"We're running a little bit behind, but it's all coming together," said Jon Witz, producer of the Motown Winter Blast. "We had the storm; they got things cleared up pretty well. I think the snow put people in the mood for the weekend. We have our own activities that are winter-themed. We have snowshoeing, ice carving, ice skating. We even have nice places for people to warm up with great music and food. There's not really a big slide, but you know how little kids are when they get snow. They'll roll around in it anyway."

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano cut a ribbon made of ice to kick off the festival on Friday afternoon.

"Obviously, cutting through the ice is different from a normal ribbon," Ficano explained. "I've cut a lot of ribbons, but never done it with ice. It brings people downtown to Detroit, economic impact. It makes a real difference in celebrating our roots. It's a tradition and everyone's enjoyed it. People can enjoy themselves. Most of all, it's family oriented. Bring your kids down and have a great time."

The Blast, which has been going on over the last few years since the Super Bowl came to town, grooves to Motown as its theme this year. It coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Motown Museum, as there'll be concerts with acts such as Rudedog inside the Compuware Building performing covers of classics from legends such as Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye.

"The winter activities are getting us out and getting us in touch with winter fun," said Saul Green, deputy mayor of Detroit. "There's great entertainment, there's food. All the things that make it a very festive weekend. It's a fun time. I'm a lifelong Detroiter, I've been to other Winter Blasts. I got a chance to walk around and see all of the events."

New Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh attended the festival this year. In previous years, he was interviewing attendees for WJBK-TV Fox 2 News. This time, he had the microphone pointed at him.

"This is the beginning of a great weekend for us," Pugh said. "In the middle of a bad economy, having thousands of people pass through downtown Detroit and spend some money before they leave is exactly what we need. A lot of people hibernate in the winter time. This is a great celebration of one of the things we do best, which is wintertime. Come on down, enjoy the Valentine's weekend. Ice skate for free, but also get a chance to go to the Motown Museum at a discounted price."

And let's not forget the late King of Pop with a tribute of Michael Jackson from a talented 15-year-old impersonator from Cass Technical High School lip-singing and performing to songs like "Bad", "Dirty Diana", "Beat It", and "Billie Jean" as the highlight of his show thanks to the legendary Moonwalk.

"It's great and everybody is so nice," said Joan Coolus, an attendee from Chicago. "You feel safe. Detroit gets a bad rap, but it shouldn't. Every band is doing a tribute to Motown -- I think that's awesome because that is the foundation of what Detroit is. I'm really excited to hear that."

Though the jury is still out, winter is a blessing for some residents of the Motor City due to the Blast, for these are one of the many events that gives them more the reason why they still love Detroit -- despite the economic recession.

"Perfect so far, I haven't fallen on my but too many times," said Mark Vezina, an attendee from New Orleans who was ice skating. "If we don't end up in the emergency room, we'll be fine. It's snowing in New Orleans as we speak, but that's a rare occurence. We don't get to do any of this stuff unless it's indoors. Come on down."

For more information on the 2010 Motown Winter Blast, visit www.winterblast.com.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Garrett Godwin interviews Detroit Deputy Mayor Saul Green.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Jason Rzucidlo interviews Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Attendees enjoyed free ice skating on the rink at Campus Martius Park all weekend long.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Marshmallow roasting was a popular activity at the Winter Blast.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

AmericaJR.com's Garrett Godwin interviews Festival Producer Jon Witz.

 

::: RETURN TO OUR COVERAGE OF THE MOTOWN WINTER BLAST :::

 

::: BROADCASTING LIVE FROM THE MOTOWN WINTER BLAST :::


The Motown Winter Blast, produced by Jonathan Witz & Associates, features hip and cool winter events centered around Campus Martius Park and great city attractions throughout Detroit. Our signature winter activities are returning with free ice skating in Campus Martius Park, Professional skating demonstrations from the Detroit Skating Club sponsored by Charter One Bank, the Michigan.org 200 ft. snow slide, Quicken Loans Ice Garden, the Meijer Kid’s Family Fun Zone and more.

 

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