DETROIT – Downtown Detroit will bustle like it’s 2006 as Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans returns to Campus Martius Park for the 12th year, Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 14. Visitors will be able to enjoy an array of seasonal family-friendly fun and expanded offerings for adults as the annual event continues to grow in both excitement and activity.
In celebration of Detroit’s food renaissance, Meridian is sponsoring the new “Taste of Detroit” food tent. Outstanding metro Detroit restaurants and chefs will be providing enjoyable, quality food from LaDolce Vita, Red Crown, (revolver), Slow’s To Go, El Asador, El Barzon, Hudson Café, Andiamo Italia, Detroit Seafood Market and Famous Dave’s.
This year’s festival will include the return of two crowd favorites: the Meridian Snow Slide, featuring a 200 ft. thrill ride down Michigan Avenue, and the Bedrock Zip Line Adventure, offering guests the chance to fly 300 ft. down Woodward Avenue. Both attractions provide great momentum for a full programming line-up that will be announced next month.
Organizers are pleased to announce that Detroit-based Meridian Health Plan has extended its title sponsorship for two more years, through the 2018 festival. This is the fourth year Meridian Health Plan has been the title sponsor of Winter Blast.
“It has been a joy to be part of Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans, and it has been exciting for us to watch it grow in size and stature. We are pleased to continue our title sponsorship for two more years,” said Sean Cotton, chief administrative officer and executive vice president of Meridian Health Plan. “As a family-owned business we are proud to help bring this family-oriented event to metro Detroit.”
Quicken Loans also has returned for the fourth year as presenting sponsor of the event, part of its larger effort to support events in Detroit that attract city residents and visitors downtown to have fun with the entire family.
“Each year the Winter Blast brings a huge spark of activity to downtown Detroit with winter-themed activities the entire family can enjoy,” said Lisa Dancsok, Quicken Loans vice president. “There is nothing better than seeing families together making memories right in the heart of downtown Detroit.”
“This year’s Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans reminds me very much of the 2006 event during the Super Bowl year,” said Jonathan Witz, Winter Blast event producer. “Much like Detroit’s rejuvenation, we’re experiencing a rise in both interest and activities, as demonstrated by the return of Meridian Snow Slide and Bedrock Zip Line Adventure, as well as the all new ‘Taste of Detroit’ Food Tent. We’re proud to continue as Detroit’s premier winter festival that draws thousands each year and is an annual tradition reflecting the rebirth of the downtown area.”
A new “Little” event for Big Brothers Big Sisters to ensure the continuation of a key community holiday tradition
Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans will be providing substantial community support by hosting a day of fun and free activities for more than 250 metro Detroit adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and the children they mentor (“Littles”). The “Big and Little Blast” will include free admission, complimentary Meridian Snow Slide and Bedrock Zip line rides, free skate rentals and lunch from Happy’s Pizza. The event will replace the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Holiday party, a 10-year tradition that was cancelled this year due to a lack of funding.
“The Winter Blast has really come through for our organization and our Bigs and Littles,” said Jeannine Gant, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit. Now we can deliver a really special day for our kids, a thank you for our mentors and one very cool winter experience all around.”
New Hometown Tourist Promotion to take center stage
Also new to the 2016 festival is the Winter Blast “Hometown Tourist Giveaway” will feature a chance for festival visitors to win more than 20 regional tourism packages from the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. Prize packages include complimentary overnight stays at top metro Detroit hotels, including the Book Cadillac, Detroit Marriott, Henry Hotel, the Hotel St. Regis and more. These prizes include dining certificates and free admission to museums and cultural attractions like the DIA, Detroit Zoo, Motown Museum and more.
“This is an outstanding way to showcase the culture and attractions of our region, and we’re thrilled to partner with the Meridian Winter Blast to offer these great prizes that reflect how great metro Detroit is for tourism,” said Larry Alexander, president of the Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Founded in 2005, this signature wintertime event debuted as a backdrop and kick off of the official countdown to Super Bowl XL in Detroit. The inaugural Winter Blast attracted more than 200,000 people.
Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans is made possible by the generous support of its sponsors: Meridian Health Plan, Quicken Loans, Bedrock Real Estate Services, DEGC/Detroit DDA, DMCVB, Great Expressions, Great Lakes Beverage, General Motors Foundation, Marketing Associates, Michigan Lottery, MetroPCS, St. John Providence Health System, Pepsi, Power Home Remodeling and the Westin Book Cadillac.
More information about the festival will be announced next month.
Winter Blast is Detroit’s celebration of winter experiences, dining, music and family fun held in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park from Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, February 14. Originally created as the backdrop for Super Bowl XL, the festival attracted more than 75,000 people last year. For additional information, visit www.winterblast.com or call (248) 541-7550.