DETROIT – The 2017 Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans will feature new entertainment stages, local food and winter-themed attractions. The festival will begin during the last weekend of the North American International Auto Show on Friday, Jan. 20 through Sunday, Jan. 22 at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. Meridian Winter Blast hours are Friday, 4 – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Brand new stages added to the festival this year will amp up the excitement and feature nearly 50 top Detroit music artists. The all-new Movement Stage at the Bedrock Ice Bar will host DJs from Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival on Friday and Saturday night from 8 to 11 p.m. Catch DJ Thornstryker and DJ Ryan Richards spinning electronic music while surrounded by an entire bar carved out of ice.
The DTE Energy Family Stage will appeal to both children and adults alike with an entirely new acoustic set in the evening just for adults. During the day, families can enjoy juggling acts, magic and science shows, musical performances and more inside the Marketing Associates Tent on Woodward Avenue. At night, the stage will host acoustic performers, creating a coffee house vibe on Friday and Saturday.
Enjoy the diverse sounds from the Michigan Lottery Stage and the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort Stage, featuring new and returning performers. Guests can enjoy new performers, including AwesomeR, Bricktown Station and Casey Cooper as well as must-see returning musical acts from Nina & the Buffalo Riders, Thornetta Davis Band, Stone Clover, 75 SKYrise, Paul Lamb and more.
Click here for the complete music schedule.
All New Meridian Winter Blast Attractions
An array of more than 60 delicious food options from nearly a dozen local restaurants and food trucks will be offered to festivalgoers. Food trucks will be parked outside Hard Rock Café and all along Monroe Street. The cuisines will range from southern comfort food to hearty, south of the border options.
The new Meridian Winter Slide will take thrill-seekers to the next level of adventure. The 30-foot high slide will have four pitch-black tubes that will drop riders at speeds of up to 20 mph. Two of the tubes will be at a 40-degree angle to bring excitement to the more daring festivalgoers and two will be at a 30-degree angle for children and those feeling a bit less adventurous. This exciting new attraction is sure to be one of the main focal points of this year’s festival.
Festivalgoers can check out the Meridian Winter Blast Ice Garden to see upcoming Warner Bros. films carved in ice! The following films will be featured: THE LEGO® BATMAN MOVIE, KONG: SKULL ISLAND; KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD; and WONDER WOMAN. Additionally, LEGO® Batman, Robin and Batgirl will be making an appearance Saturday, Jan. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Detroit Interactive Sports Zone Cool Additions
The recently announced all-new Detroit Interactive Sports Zone has picked up some star power. In addition to the interactive exhibits taking place in the Marketing Associates Tent on Woodward Avenue, the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons will bring special alumni guests for appearances and performances throughout the weekend.
Detroit Red Wings alumni will join the festival on the DTE Energy Family Stage for photos and autographs. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, it’s former goaltender Manny Legace and on Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m., it’s defenseman Jason Woolley.
Meanwhile, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, also on the DTE Energy Family Stage, the Detroit Pistons will feature a performance and autograph session from their fabulous Dance Team. On Sunday, Pistons legend Rick Mahorn will be on hand at 1:15 p.m. for photos and autographs.
The hockey competition is back! Meridian Winter Blast challenges festivalgoers with a hockey shot competition presented by Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC). Throughout the weekend, attendees will have a chance to shoot and score cool prizes from GEDC, Winter Blast and the Detroit Red Wings. The grand-prize winner will win a choice of a free set of Invisalign braces or a dental care package from GEDC valued at $5,000. The competition will take place on the ice rink at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The new festival dates are a result of a partnership with the North American International Auto Show, as both events will promote the other in efforts to maximize tourism and positive impact to downtown Detroit. The key aspect of the collaboration will feature free, same day admission to Meridian Winter Blast for any patron of the NAIAS.
Festival patrons can participate in free ice skating at Campus Martius Park for the entire three days of the festival, courtesy of St. John Providence. Meridian Winter Blast is the only weekend all year when visitors can skate for free. Attendees can also enjoy live skating exhibitions and performances by local skating clubs throughout the weekend.
Returning as a festival favorite is the MetroPCS Zipline Adventure. Partake in the longest, fastest mobile zipline in Michigan that allows two riders to zip simultaneously on separate lines, 34 feet above the ground. In just 20 seconds, this high-speed experience will take festivalgoers’ breath away as they soar through the crisp air and take in panoramic views of Campus Martius from high atop Cadillac Square, the new location of this activity.
Attendees can stay toasty and warm by one of the many marshmallow roasting stations located throughout the festival, courtesy of Detroit Downtown Development Authority. Marshmallow and s’more kits will be available for purchase to enjoy a tasty treat with family and friends.
Admissions and Charitable Giving
Meridian Winter Blast once again is teaming with Matrix Human Services and Chemical Bank to help those in need during the winter. Admission to the 2017 Meridian Winter Blast is $3 or three canned goods or other non-perishable items.
Parking Made Easy
Enjoy Meridian Winter Blast without the confusion and hassle of parking. Festivalgoers can park at a recommended lot for affordable rates and close proximity to the festival. Take advantage of $10 weekend parking rates starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday at each of the following lots.
1 Campus Martius Building Parking Garage, located at 1188 Farmer St.
Kennedy Square Parking Deck, 719 Griswold St.
The Z Deck, 1234 Library St.
Spend the Night in the City
Stay downtown and enjoy the city while attending Meridian Winter Blast. Organizers are offering festival patrons the opportunity to “Spend the Night in the City” at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel Detroit, located just two blocks from the festival, at special discounted weekend rates of $169 per night. The iconic Westin Book Cadillac provides a warm and refreshing retreat after a long day of festivities. Festivalgoers must book by Jan. 13 to receive this rate.
Meridian Winter Blast could not happen without the generous support of its sponsors, which include: Meridian, Quicken Loans, Allied Marketing, Bedrock Detroit, Chemical Bank, Cricket Wireless, DEGC /Detroit DDA, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons, DMCVB, DTE Energy, Ilitch Holdings, Made in Detroit, Marketing Associates, MetroPCS, Michigan Lottery-Official Advertiser, Pepsi, Redico, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, St. John Providence, US Park and the Westin Book Cadillac.
Winter Blast is Detroit’s celebration of winter experiences, dining, music and family fun held in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park from Friday, January 20 through Sunday, January 22. 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.