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Local News / Entertainment

Friday, 25 December, 2009 2:41 AM

Motown Winter Blast to return to downtown Detroit, Feb. 12 - 14, 2009

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing addresses the media during a press conference inside the Hard Rock Cafe on Dec. 21, 2009.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

(Quicktime Video)

DETROIT -- Detroit's Winter Blast will return to its roots in 2010. The festival will once again be called Motown Winter Blast, as it was originally created when Detroit hosted Super Bowl XL in 2006. All weekend long, festival goers will hear 200 legendary Motown songs. All bands, regardless of their genre, will play at least three Motown hits. There will be lots of winter activities, all types of food, great music and family fun.

A new donation program is being put in place for the admission fee. Attendees are encouraged to donate a nonperishable food item, an item of clothing or a book to get in the festival. All items collected will be given to the Grosse Pointe Rotary Club for a service project that will benefit Matrix Human Services, Crossroads of Michigan and Kids Against Hunger.

"We're going to celebrate Motown heritage and have our bands play more Motown songs than ever," said Jon Witz, Executive Producer of the Motown Winter Blast. "We're asking people to have a donated admission. We're going to bring snowmaking back. We're going to be making snow hills, show shoeing. We're glad that Shanty Creek Resorts is donating snowmaking equipment for us. We'll have a kids stage that will turn into an electronic music stage at night. We hope to be up to 10 restaurants this year."

Free ice skating returns to the rink at Campus Martius Park during the weekend of the festival. There will be DTE Energy warming zones every 150 feet. Marshmallow roasting returns to the festival in 2010. A winter carnival will also return with six amusement rides on Woodward Avenue in front of the First National Building.

"I think it's a good move," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "When I didn't live here for example, I knew all about Motown based on the history. Both of the automobile as well as the music. We really are enlarging this to be something more than Detroit. I think that it's a positive. I think it sends a message that even thought times are hard, this is a festive time of the year. The more people that we can get out downtown to enjoy each other, to enjoy what this is all about is a real positive. I'm looking forward to it."

The Taste of Detroit returns with an estimated 10 metro Detroit restaurants that will be set up within the festival. Wine tasting is also expected to return to the festival.

"It's a great continuation," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano . "We're fortunante. We have some great events in the wintertime. That's usually when a lot of restaurants are struggling and having a difficult time. To start with the international auto show that's in January and then it's going to carry over and the activity you're going to see come with the Motown Blast. It's good for the restaurants, good for the region. It generates activity and gives people comfort to keep engaging and come downtown. It's going to be more family-orientated."

There will be two outdoor music stages and one smaller stage inside the Compuware Building. The smaller stage will feature kids activities during the day and it will feature electronic music in the evening. Inside Detroit will offer free guided walking tours during the hours of the Winter Blast. Free tours begin at the atrium inside the Compuware Building at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

"I'm excited as a Detroiter," said Charles Pugh, Detroit City Council President-Elect. "There are a lot of people for whatever reason don't come down. It's too long of a drive, it's cumbersome to park or they normally come for a specific event like a ball game and go back. So it's nice to have an event where you can walk around and see new stuff. The fact that we have maintained that every year since Super Bowl shows that this community wants and thirsts for more fun downtown. I'll be cutting ribbons and waving instead of sticking a microphone in somebody's face. This is where I should be right now."

The Motown Winter Blast opens on the morning of Friday, February 12th and runs through the evening of Sunday, February 14th.

For more information, visit www.winterblast.com.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Producer Jon Witz before from the press conference.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Festival Producer Jon Witz addresses the media

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Representative from Hard Rock Cafe thanks everyone from coming.

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

"The Winter Blast is something that's exteremly important to the city of Detroit," Bing said. "It comes at a time when a lot of people really don't want to be outside."

 

PHOTO BY MIKE ISMAIR / ©AMERICAJR.com

Motown Winter Blast logo on the poster

 

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