‘Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends’ snowballs into four weekends of free family fun

Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends
DETROIT – Winter Blast, Detroit’s tradition of winter fun, has a new name, new logo and new schedule. It’s also now free to attend.
 
Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends returns for the 14th year to Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, featuring winter-themed attractions and seasonal family-friendly entertainment. The event has grown to 12 days in 2019, and will be hosted over four weekends: Jan. 19 – 21, 25 – 27, Feb. 8 – 10, and 15 – 17.*
 
The first weekend will run Saturday through Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), and all other weekends are Friday through Sunday. The first two weekends of the festival will be presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort and will coincide with the North American International Auto Show. The final two weekends will be presented by Delta Dental.
 
“Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends have become a staple event in Detroit, and Quicken Loans is proud to be back supporting this festival that not only highlights our beautiful city, but also brings families together for some wintertime fun,” said Helen D. Johnson, Vice President of Strategic Investments, Quicken Loans Community Fund. “By opening the event to everyone, free of charge and without fences and barriers, this winter celebration will help create an inclusive environment that encourages people to explore and discover all that Detroit has to offer.”
 
For added convenience, Woodward Avenue will remain open during festival weekends, with the opportunity for patrons to take the QLINE to the event, or to visit Midtown and New Center following the festival.
 
“From the annual tree lighting in Campus Martius Park to the North American International Auto Show, and activities at The Cadillac Lodge in Cadillac Square, Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends builds on the amazing lineup of existing downtown winter programming,” said Jon Witz, Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends festival producer. “Our expansion to four weekends entices visitors to experience Detroit not just one or two weekends a year, but to return again and again.”
 
WINTER ACTIVITIES ABOUND
 
For the first time, the festival has been strategically planned to maximize the weather – whatever it may be. There will be something different to do every weekend, including recurring activities such as ice skating, ice sculptures, marshmallow roasting, food trucks, family activities and live music, as well as rotating activations including Boyne City Slopes, The Winter Slide, zip lining down Cadillac Square, carnival rides, and the opportunity to skate for free all weekend long at Campus Martius Park.
 
Free ice skating takes center stage in the heart of downtown. This health and wellness initiative provides festival patrons the opportunity to ice skate for free at The Rink at Campus Martius Park for the opening and closing weekend of the festival, presented by Delta Dental. The weekends for free ice skating are Jan. 19 – 21 and Feb. 15 – 17.
 
Ice skating also will be available during festival weekends two and three, Jan. 25 – 27 and Feb. 8 – 10. Adults can skate for $10; children 12 and under and seniors (59 and older) skate for $8. Skate rental is $5 per pair.
 
The inaugural weekend of Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend will be presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort and include family activities, a local music showcase and an exclusive SaturdayDJ showcase from the Movement Festival.
 
Weekend two, Jan. 25-27, also presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, will have Michigan’s two largest ski resorts, Boyne Highlands of Harbor Springs and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, deliver a learn to ski and snowboard experience to the city of Detroit. The resorts will be utilizing their proprietary Boyne Low-E fan guns, the world’s most energy-efficient, marginal-temperature snowmaking system, to make snow for the event. A Prioth snowcat will be used to expertly build and groom a slope offering beginner level terrain. Event goers will have the opportunity to be fitted for ski or snowboard gear, partake in a 20-minute beginner lesson, and walk away with special offers from the resorts and Boyne Country Sports.
 
The popular four-lane, 30-foot high Winter Slide makes its comeback this year on the third Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend presented by Delta Dental, Feb. 8 – 10, whisking riders through a dark tube at up to 20 MPH, and dropping them at a 40-degree angle. There also is a 30-degree drop slide for children and those who like their adventure at a gentler pace.
 
Returning the final weekend, Feb. 15 – 17, presented by Delta Dental, is the longest, fastest mobile zip line in Michigan. The 20-second ride allows two riders to zip simultaneously on separate lines, 34-feet above the ground. The high-speed experience will give riders panoramic views of Campus Martius from high above Cadillac Square, as they soar through the air.
 
Attendees can stay warm at one of the many roasting stations located throughout the event, courtesy of the Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Marshmallow and s’more kits will be available for purchase.
 
Ice carving demonstrations take place during the event courtesy of US Ice.
 
“This is what Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends are all about,” said Alexis Wiley, Chief of Staff, Mayor Duggan’s office, City of Detroit. “We are a welcoming city, and Detroit invites everyone to come and have fun downtown.”
 
Leading into the Quicken Loans Winter Blast weekends, visitors will be able to experience the Downtown Detroit Markets in Cadillac Square, Capitol Park and 1441 Woodward Collective. Over 35 local entrepreneurs have popped up shops this winter in the heart of the city. More than 90 percent of the small businesses are minority owned and operated, while over 75 percent are specifically female ran. Bedrock and the Quicken Loans Community Fund have created the Downtown Detroit Markets and surrounding activations as part of their ongoing commitment to drive entrepreneurship and increase diverse retail, food, beverage and art focused offerings within the city. The Downtown Detroit Markets are opened Wednesday-Sunday now until Sunday, Jan. 13.
 
COMMUNITY SUPPORT—FEEDING THE HUNGRY
 
Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends is participating in The Kroger Co.’s (Kroger) “Zero Hunger, Zero Waste” campaign.
 
All food trucks participating in the Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends will receive exhibition space for a $500 donation of food to Detroit-area shelters. See schedule below for lineup of participating food trucks. Forgotten Harvest will collect and distribute the donations to local shelters, such as Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and Fort Street Presbyterian Church.
 
“More than 40 percent of food is thrown away in the U.S., while one out of eight people struggle to have enough to eat,” said Rachel Hurst, Corporate Affairs Manager, Kroger. “At Kroger, hunger relief is a priority and it has been for more than 135 years. We are committed to ending hunger in our communities, and eliminating food waste in our company, by 2025.”
 
The festival has a number of other community initiatives, including Special Olympics. Attendees are invited to brave the chilly winter air and take the Quicken Loans Winter Blast Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Michigan, Feb. 8-10. Community members, family and friends are encouraged to take the “plunge” into a pool of freezing water on the south side of Campus Martius park, all while benefiting a great cause.
 
Volunteers from Matrix Human Services in Detroit will be onsite at the festival to support the Winter Slide and receive a portion of revenues from the slide operations throughout the weekend. Matrix Human Services advocates for and serves the most vulnerable in the metro Detroit community, and empowers individuals and families to enhance the quality of their lives and achieve self-sufficiency.
 
QUICKEN LOANS WINTER BLAST WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Subject to change
 
Jan. 19 – 21, 2019: Presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
 
○    Free ice skating at Campus Martius Rink (normally $10 per adult)
○    Food truck rally – courtesy of Kroger
○    Marshmallow roasting – courtesy of the Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
○    Ice sculptures – courtesy of US Ice
○    Family activities
○    Local music showcase
○     Saturday nightonly:DJ showcase from the Movement Festival
 
Food Truck Rally Participants
○    Beans & Cornbread
○    Taste of Nawlins
○    Chick a D
○    Fortune Cookin’
○    Imperial Ferndale
 
Jan. 25 – 27, 2019: Presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Friday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
 
o    City Slopes (skiing and snowboarding exhibition) – courtesy of Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands
○    Food truck rally – courtesy of Kroger
○    Family activities – courtesy of Chemical Bank
○    Marshmallow roasting – courtesy of the DDA
○    Strolling entertainment
○    Local music showcase
 
Food Truck Rally Participants
o    Hero or Villain
o    The Nosh Pit
o    Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine
 
 
Feb. 8 – 10, 2019: Presented by Delta Dental
Friday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
 
○    Special Olympics Polar Plunge
○    Food truck rally – courtesy of The Kroger Co.
○    Ice sculptures – courtesy of US Ice
○    Family activities – courtesy of Chemical Bank
○    Marshmallow roasting – courtesy of the DDA
○    Winter slide
○    Local music showcase
 
Food Truck Rally Participants
○    Beans & Cornbread
○    Bigalora
○    Hero or Villain
○    Buffy’s Mexicasian Grill
○    The Nosh Pit
○    Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine
 
Feb. 15 – 17, 2019: Presented by Delta Dental
Friday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
 
○    Free skating at Campus Martius Rink (normally $10 per person)
○    Ice sculptures – courtesy of US Ice
○    Marshmallow roasting – courtesy of the DDA
○    Zipline
○    Local music showcase
○    Family activities
○    Strolling entertainment
 
Food Truck Rally Participants
○    Imperial Ferndale
○    Chick a D
○    The Monkey Truck
 
Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends is grateful for the generous support of its sponsors, which include: Quicken Loans, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands, Chemical Bank, Delta Dental, Detroit Downtown Development Authority, The Kroger Co. and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort.
 
*There will be no festival the “big game” weekend of Feb. 3.
 
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About Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends
 
Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends are Detroit’s celebration of winter experiences, dining, music and family fun in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park. Originally created as the backdrop for Super Bowl XL, the festival attracted more than 100,000 people last year. For additional information, visit www.winterblast.com.
 
About the Quicken Loans Community Fund
 
The Quicken Loans Community Fund is the philanthropic arm of Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, which operates under a “for-more-than-profit” philosophy that recognizes business and community are inextricably linked. This model brings together all of the assets of the Quicken Loans business – team member talent, technology, policy advocacy, and philanthropic resources – to invest in comprehensive community development across Detroit, Cleveland, Charlotte and Phoenix. Over the last eight years, the Quicken Loans Community Fund has invested over $180 million in the Detroit community through investments in housing stability, entrepreneurship, education & employment and public space activation. This includes marquee investments like $5 million into the Rehabbed & Ready program and a multi-million dollar, long-term commitment in property tax foreclosure prevention and reform. The work of the Quicken Loans Community Fund is powered by the 30,000 team members that work for the Quicken Loans Family of Companies nation-wide.
 
For more information, visit quickenloans.org or see our For-More-Than-Profit booklet here.

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