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WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Jon Witz, Detroit Winter Blast Producer

Quicktime Video

<< News >>

Local News / Entertainment

Tuesday, 27 January, 2009 1:32 PM

Detroit's Winter Blast Returns Feb. 6 - 8 with an Exciting Music Lineup and Fun Events for all

PHOTO BY VINCE DERY / ©AMERICAJR.com

Festival Producer Jon Witz addresses the media inside the Greektown Casino.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

WATCH: Exclusive Interview with Jon Witz, Detroit Winter Blast Producer

Quicktime Video

DETROIT -- The Motor City's annual wintertime festival returns with something for everything at Campus Martius Park. The Winter Blast returns the weekend of Feb. 6 - 8 with live entertainment, great food, family-centered activities and a new "Made in Michigan" theme. The 200-ft. snow slide was cut due to the budget, however a smaller 100-ft. ice slide will be available for thrill seekers.

The Winter Blast takes place at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Most activties at the fifth annual event are free of charge.

"It's gonna be a great program," said Jon Witz, festival producer. "We've had to cut our budget a little bit there's still free ice skating at Campus Martius Park, fabulous ice sculptures, skating exhibitions, marshmallow roasting, that great winter experience that we've always had, plus great music, food, family entertainment with the Meijer Kids Stage."

Twenty-eight bands will perform over the weekend at the Winter Blast. There will be three stanges of musical entertainment. Some of the acts include TJ Kelly, Twistin Tarantulas, Universal Temple of Divine Power, Macpodz, Rev. Marc Falconberry, The Mickeys and Brandon Calhoon. A preview of the Detroit Eclectronic Music Festival will also take place for the second year in a row. The Meijer Kids stage will feature Gratitude Steel Band, Kevin Kammeraad and Vikki Gasko.

Ice skating will be free on the rink at Campus Martius Park for the entire weekend. Local professional and amateur figure skaters will perform including 2008 International Men's Gold Medalist Alexander Newman. Four ice skating clubs will entertain the crowd over the weekend.

A new Artic Blast ice slide will be featred adjacent to the Woodward Fountain. The 100-ft. slide will give riders a rush of air as they slide down. The slide is smaller than the 200-ft. counterpart that was at previous Winter Blast festivals due to budget cuts. Rides are $3 each or four for $10.

"It's made of ice, so it goes a little bit faster," Witz said of the new ice slide. "It's around the same height. It's faster...watch out!"

The ice garden returns with brilliantly carved and lighted ice sculptures. Many of them will be related to the state of Michigan. Sculptures will resemble deer, pheasants, bears, salmon and geese along with music, the wine industry and sports. A new children's area will feature ice sculptures of Kung Fu Panda and SpongeBob Square Pants.

Interactive sculptures will debut at this year's Winter Blast. Festival goers can get their photos of family and friends seated on an "Ice thrown" or become an official sponsor for only $10 by having their name carved on a 20 foot "Ice Wall of Fame."

"The MetroPCS Dine in the D increases awareness of the multitude of culinary talent in the Detroit area," said Jon Witz, Winter Blast event producer. "This year, I think restaurateurs were particularly compelled to participate. They know times are challenging. This is a win-win for both restaurant owners and festival patrons. Top-notch food at rarely seen prices for festival visitors and increased foot traffic for restaurants."

New restauraurants participating for the first time include Detroit Fish Market and Finn & Porter Round Bar. Click here to locate participating restaurants and download 15 percent off coupons.

"After the festival, there's a bar blast Saturday and Friday," the event producer said. "That will bring great entertainment afterwards at local nightclubs."

Free marshmallow roasting returns at the Winter Blast. DTE Energy promises visitors heat ever 150 feet with its comfort zones.

"We've been able to bring things back for less," said Witz. "A good news story when Detroit needs it most."

 

PHOTO BY VINCE DERY / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. addresses the media.

 

PHOTO BY VINCE DERY / ©AMERICAJR.com

Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr.

 

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