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Saturday, 12 January, 2008 6:41 PM

Detroit's Winter Blast Returns to Downtown Detroit, February 8 - 10, 2008

New festival layout, film festival, and returning favorite winter activities serve as backdrop to family friendly event


DETROIT -- For the fourth consecutive year, Detroit’s Winter Blast will return to Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. The celebration of winter experiences, dining, music and family fun will happen Friday, February 8-Sunday, February 10. The event had been in danger of cancellation due to budget shortfalls, and is still looking for sponsors, but WILL take place and still feature all the unique winter activities from years past.

In addition to a brand new festival layout comprised of the Chrysler Jeep Dodge Taste of Detroit and Pure Michigan Winter Experience entertainment districts, the 2008 Winter Blast will boast new activities such as the Winter Blast Film Festival and a two-day preview of Memorial Day Weekend’s annual Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival.

“Winter Blast is a celebration of everything our great city has to offer not only during the winter months, but all year long,” said Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick. “Jon Witz does a great job of showcasing Detroit’s restaurants, distinctive shopping, and cultural dynamism while providing children and families with a memorable wintertime experience. Winter Blast is a great reason to experience the NEXT Detroit if you haven’t already.”

“Through a dedication to Winter Blast from the City of Detroit, the festival continues to gain more and more momentum each year and we simply could not pull Winter Blast off without this commitment,” said Jon Witz, Winter Blast event producer. “But by no means have we stopped our fundraising and sponsorship outreach. We truly believe we have a top notch festival and will continue to work toward our financial goals to ensure the festival lives up to its reputation.”

Numerous area businesses have already stepped up to help make the event possible. Title sponsors include The Chrysler Foundation, DTE Energy and Pure Michigan. Additional festival supporters include the Art Institute of Michigan, AT&T, Big Boy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Budweiser, Charter One Bank, the City of Detroit, Chrysler Jeep Superstores, Comcast, Compuware, Crystal Mountain, Detroit Commerce Bank, Detroit Economic Growth Group, Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Detroit Regional Chamber, Downtown Collection, Ernst & Young, Fifth Third Bank, ITC, Little Caesars, Meijer, MetroPCS, MGM Grand Detroit, Michigan Lottery, Penske Automotive Group, Pepsi, REI, Special Tree rehabilitation System, TUBBS Snowshoes, Quicken Loans and Walbridge Aldinger.


Favorite activities from previous years will be back for the public to enjoy. The entertainment districts will feature all of the exciting winter-themed activities that have taken place in each of the last two years, including marshmallow roasting, ice skating, professional and amateur ice skating sponsored by Charter One Bank and snowboarding exhibitions, ice sculptures, dog sledding and snowshoeing, along with food from 20 restaurants and caterers, live music from more than 60 bands on four stages, and special family-oriented activities. All Winter Blast concerts are FREE.

The wildly popular 200 ft. long Snow Slide and DTE Energy Comfort Zones, promising heat every 150-ft., will also return. In its second year, the Pure Michigan exhibit, located in the Compuware Atrium, will again feature activities, tourism exhibits and talent from across the State.

MetroPCS : Dine in the D was the most popular new Winter Blast program introduced in 2007 and is back for 2008, featuring more than 60 participating restaurants. Festival-goers can print out a coupon from and redeem it at participating restaurants for 15 to 25% off their bill. By visiting at least one restaurant during the festival weekend, diners can also enter to win dinner in Detroit for a full year. Coupon and restaurant list will be available at online on January 16, 2008.


For the first time ever, independent filmmakers will have the opportunity to show their films before Winter Blast patrons. The Winter Blast Film Festival celebrates Michigan filmmakers, as well as films about Michigan. The event will feature a variety of movies across an expansive number of genera, including Documentary, Feature, Short, Music Video, Animation and Experimental and appearances by select film writers and producers.

Filmmakers are invited to utilize the film festival as a channel through which to showcase their work and the chance to foster a collaborative network that will result in the creation of original motion pictures. The Festival is currently seeking submissions in all categories. Further information is available on the festival’s site (

For the first time ever, Winter Blast patrons will receive a two-day preview of the 2008 Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival (Movement 08’), featuring a few gems from Detroit’s thriving Electronic Music Scene. A high-energy celebration that will showcase up-and-coming local DJ’s and producers, the sneak peak will bring yet another level of culture and fun to an already stellar event which highlights Detroit’s beautiful downtown atmosphere and entertainment assets. Winter Blast patrons will not want to miss what festival producers have in store for the world’s lithmus test for Techno music in the United States scheduled to take place in May.

A detailed line-up of all entertainment, activities and restaurants will be announced in late January 2008. Additional information can be found online at

Detroit’s Winter Blast is produced by Jonathan Witz, President of Jonathan Witz & Associates.

Originally created as the backdrop for Super Bowl XL, Winter Blast attracted more than 200,000 people for its debut in 2005 and 1.2 million Detroiters and visitors during Super Bowl XL weekend in 2006. Last year, the festival was attended by more than 450,000 people. Winter Blast is Detroit’s celebration of winter experiences, dining, music and family fun to be held in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius from, Friday, February 8-Sunday, February 10. The three-day festival will be open from 11 a.m. – Midnight on Friday, 10 a.m. – Midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday. For additional public information, visit or call (313) 963-8418.

Source: Marx Layne & Co.



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