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Local News / Entertainment

Tuesday, 29 January, 2008 3:21 PM

Detroit's Winter Blast: A Taste of What You'll See Feb. 8-10th

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com

Country artist T.J. Kelly performs during the press event for the Detroit Winter Blast.

by Jennifer Vuong
jennifer.vuong@hotmail.com

DETROIT -- A line-up of all the entertainment, activities and restaurants for the fourth annual Detroit Winter Blast was announced Monday at a traveling press conference in downtown Detroit.

Participants at the meeting were the first to experience some of the music, food and fun before the actual festival weekend held on February 8-10.

The conference started at the Hard Rock Café in the Compuware Building. Musician T.J Kelly, who will perform at the festival, provided the entertainment before the meeting began. Local restaurants that will be a part of the Winter Blast's "MetroPCS: Dine in the D" program served up food samples.

The event speakers included Event Producer Jonathan Witz, Chairman of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Christopher Ilitch and Vice President for Marketing at Fifth Third Bank, Jack Riley.

Witz said the festival's mantra is to "promote the entire downtown." He announced that Detroit-area hotels are offering discounted rates and encourages visitors to spend the weekend downtown. Some of the participating hotels include MGM Grand, Marriott Renaissance Center and the Hilton Garden Inn.

More discounts were announced as Witz turned the mic to Ilitch who spoke about some of the restaurants participating in the "Dine in the D" program. The program offers 15 to 25 percent off discounts at participating restaurants. Ilitch said more than 60 restaurants will be participating this year. These include the Majestic Café, Small Plates, River's Edge Grille, Opus One, Cass Café and Wolfgang Puck Grille. Also, a single visit to one of the restaurants listed, gives patrons the chance to enter to win dinner in Detroit for one full year.

Next, Riley announced the music line-up scheduled for this year's festival. They include HotSauce, Echoes of Pink Floyd, Joey Spina, Sky Covington, DJ Stacy Pullen and John Johr, Doc Holiday, Jimmy Atto and more artists from the genres of jazz, neo-soul, R&B, blues, rock and alternative music. There will be three stages to host the performances, including the Fifth Third Bank Stage, the Michigan Lottery Stage and the Compuware/Pure Michigan Stage.

Another activity festival-goers can enjoy is the First Annual Detroit Winter Blast Film Festival. The film festival celebrates Michigan filmmakers and will feature a variety of movies including documentary, feature, shorts and music videos. Filmmaker Christi Vedejs announced some of the films that will be featured. They include "Twenty to Life" by Steve Gebhardt, "Turning White" a documentary on WJBK-FOX 2 reporter Lee Thomas and Vedejs' own film, "An Osprey Homecoming."

There will be a new Meijer Family Fun Zone to host activities for children including an arts and crafts station, face painting and much more. New to the festival this year is InsideOut Detroit Youth Poetry Showcase and InsideOut Detroit Citywide Poets in Performance. Visitors can watch aspiring poets perform on stage.

Next, the press conference moved across the street to Campus Martius Park for the announcement of the most recent additions to the festival line-up. On Sunday, February 10, festival patrons wearing red and white or Red Wings attire could be selected to win a trip for two to a tropical destination. Other prizes will be given away including, Little Caesars HOT-N-READY pizza for a year, a trip to the Caribbean or a Red Wings jersey.

There will also be hand designed ice sculptures showcasing the five coolest things about Detroit in ice.

The last stop of the traveling press conference ended at the First National Bank across from Campus Martius Park. A techno guest DJ from the Detroit Electronic Music Festival spun sounds for guests. Enoteca Campo Marzio wine bar in the building gave samples of wine, and will be featured as an activity at this year's Winter Blast.

Detroit's Winter Blast opens Friday, Feb. 8th and runs until Sunday, Feb. 10th. It is a FREE event. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday, 10 a.m. until midnight on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Bagel Factory is one of the restaurants that will participate in Detroit's Winter Blast.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com

Small Plates restaurant will be selling its food at the Winter Blast Feb. 8-10th.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com

Look for River's Edge Grille at the Winter Blast.

 

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUONG / ©AMERICAJR.com

Opus One is participating in the metroPCS Dine in the D program at the Winter Blast.

 

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