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WATCH: Announcement of 2010 Motown Winter Blast Music and Festivities

(includes remarks by producer Jon Witz, Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and more)
 

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Sunday, 7 February, 2010 2:42 AM

Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast 
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~~ GREAT TIMES AND COOL EVENTS ~~

* PREVIEW: 2010 Motown Winter Blast to feature three music stages, ice skating and a winter carnival *

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

R&B group Gwen & Charles Scales performs during the Motown Winter Blast press conference on Jan. 28, 2010.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

(includes remarks by producer Jon Witz, Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and more)

DETROIT -- Detroit's Winter Blast is back in 2010 with a new name. The festival is know being called the Motown Winter Blast, in honor of the Motown Museum's 25th anniversary. Every band that performs at the winter blast, regardless of its genre, will perform at least three Motown hits. The festival will also include an ice garden, winter carnival, ice skating, marshmallow roasting and much more. A third stage will include fun activities for the kids to enjoy on Saturday and Sunday. Festival goers are asked to donate a can of food, item of clothing or a book to donate to charity as an entry fee.

Motown Museum CEO Audley Smith presented commemorative plaques to Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh for renaming the festival in honor of the museum's anniversary.

"Good things are happening in downtown Detroit, they continue to happen," said Bob Gregory, President of the Detroit 300 Conservancy. "We're pleased to host the Winter Blast for the sixth year. The rink at Campus Martius continues to be a great place for five months during the winter that brings people downtown from the city, from all over the region. This year, our volume of skaters is up almost 25 percent, year to year. This event is the highlight of the winter season at Campus Martius Park and in downtown Detroit."

The Motown Winter Blast will take place from Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14 at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. The festival returns to its 2008 layout, which includes the surrounding streets around the park.

"Producing a major festival in this climate is a challenge and we are proud that we have met that challenge with the true spirit of collaboration," said Jon Witz, Producer of the Motown Winter Blast. "Everything good that will happen from February 12 through 14 is about bringing great organizations together."

Organizers of the Motown Winter Blast have partnered with Matrix Human Services and the Grosse Pointe Rotary’s “Breaking the ICE on the cycle of Poverty” program. All attendees are encouraged to bring a can of food, item of clothing or a book to donate, if possible.

"We are certainly excited and honored that this year the name has been resurrected to reflect the Motown Museum's 25th anniversary," said Audley Smith, CEO of the Motown Museum. "As you all know, last year we celebrated Motown Records' 50th anniversary, but the museum's been around 25 years. We have a lot of exciting plans for new exhibits, one on Marvin Gaye, one on Michael Jackson as well as having our Motown alumni come in and serve as tour guides. Hopefully as exciting of a gala as we had last year."

Three music stages will offer non-stop entertainment throughout the festival. The Michigan Lottery stage will be located inside the DTE Energy comfort zone tent on Monroe Street. The Fifth Third Bank stage will be located inside the atrium of the Compuware Building. Finally, the Meijer kids stage will be located inside the Meijer kids tent.

Impact 7, Flophouse, Dierra Leone, One eskiMo and the New Strategy Band are some of the bands that will be performing at this year's festival. Additional bands include Arnell Carmichael, Just Friends, Priscilla Prince, The Reefermen, The Muggs, The Macpodz, Rev. Marc Falconberry, the Tim Diaz Band, Robin Moore & Cotton Pickin' Trio and TJ Kelly, among many others. The Movement Electronic Music Festival is offering techno music on Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Meijer kids stage will feature activities such as puppeteers, magicians, jugglers and comedians. In addition, there will be shows like Ocean's in Motion, Magic with Checkers, Cool Tricks and Funny Stuff and The Amazing Clark.

"Wayne County is very proud to support the Motown Winter Blast because it supports our quality of life, our downtown businesses and the positive message that Detroit continues to be a vibrant city," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. "We're very fortunate in one way, in terms of when we have these events, especially in the dead of winter. You go to most other cities and usually the winter is a lull for them, there's not a lot of activity, especially in the midwest. When you combine the auto show with things such as this blast, you see people being drawn out. They come out, support the businesses and make a difference in the quality of life."

There will be free ice skating on the rink at Campus Martius Park all weekend long during the festival. There will be ice skating demonstrations from the Detroit Skating Club, the Heritage Skating Club, the Wolverine Sports Club Speedskating Team and by the Berkley Royal Blades.

Nine local restaurants will bring their specialties to the Winter Blast for festival goers to enjoy. Those include Achartz Soup & Catering, the Bloomfield Canopy Cheesecake Co., Cuppuccino, Happy Belly Cupcakes & Catering, Hot Diggity Dog, Kola's Food Factory, Mercurio Food, Old World Almonds, Skewer's House of Kabob and The Almond Hut.

"I want to first congratulate the Motown Museum for holding out history so well," said Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh. "I look forward to the museum's special rate on Winter Blast weekend. The city of Detroit is going to allow Winter Blast to expand the foot of the festival. We not only will be on Woodward, on Michigan as well as Monroe. We will be on several streets around Campus Martius Park as well. So in the days of things getting greener and smaller, we're getting bluer and bigger for the Motown Winter Blast. We're very excited about that."

Festival goers can check out the Quicken Loans ice garden to admire beautifully carved and lighted ice sculptures. In addition, there will be ice sculptures of SpongeBob Square Pants and his friend Patrick. A new ice sculpture display will be called "Jazz it Up: A Salute to Motown Music."

Snowshoeing and a snow blizzard will return to the festival, courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts. Free marshmallow roasting is also coming back this year. DTE Energy comfort zones will provide heat to visitors every 150 feet.

Festival organizers have partnered with downtown hotels for special discounts to visitors who would like to "Spend the Night in the City." Both the Courtyard by Marriott and the Marriott at the Renaissance Center are offering a special rate of $99 per night. The Westin Book Cadillac has lowered its price to $119 per night during the festival.

For more information on the 2010 Motown Winter Blast, visit www.winterblast.com.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh arrives at the press conference.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano chatted with Pugh before the press conference began.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit 300 Conservancy President Bob Gregory with Motown Winter Blast Producer Jon Witz

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"This is exciting in downtown Detroit," Gregory said. "We're pleased to host the Winter Blast again for the sixth year."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

"Everything good happening from February 12 through 14 is about bringing great organizations together," Witz said.

 

PREVIOUS PAGE
::: PAGE ONE :::

 

::: RETURN TO OUR COVERAGE OF THE MOTOWN WINTER BLAST :::

 

::: BROADCASTING LIVE FROM THE MOTOWN WINTER BLAST :::


The Motown Winter Blast, produced by Jonathan Witz & Associates, features hip and cool winter events centered around Campus Martius Park and great city attractions throughout Detroit. Our signature winter activities are returning with free ice skating in Campus Martius Park, Professional skating demonstrations from the Detroit Skating Club sponsored by Charter One Bank, the Michigan.org 200 ft. snow slide, Quicken Loans Ice Garden, the Meijer Kid’s Family Fun Zone and more.

 

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