DETROIT – The 2018 Meridian Winter Blast presented by Quicken Loans will feature groovy entertainment stages, top local food trucks and restaurants, and new winter-themed attractions. The festival will once again take place during the last weekend of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Friday, Jan. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 28 at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. Meridian Winter Blast hours are Friday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Music will rock through the streets of downtown Detroit with three distinct stages, bringing brand new talent into the spotlight. New beats to catch this year include country rock from Holly Berndt Band and alternative rock from Eva Under Fire. Returning favorites include “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues” Thornetta Davis and the Motown influenced rock band The Reefermen.
Beats from the Michigan Lottery Stage will reverberate off every corner of the festival as this outdoor stage located on Monroe Street presents some of Detroit’s top musical talent. Performers include Larry Lee & The Back In The Day Band, Gasoline Gypsies, Melanie Rutherford & Phat Greasy, Natalie Lucassian, and Roadwork.
The Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort/iHeartRadio Stage located on Cadillac Square just east of Campus Martius will highlight bands such as Jibs Brown & The Jambros, Stone Clover, The Orbitsuns, Roots Vibrations Band, and Alise King. Friday and Saturday nights will feature special guest DJs from Movement, Detroit’s largest electronic music festival, who will get the crowd in motion when the beat drops.
The Family Stage welcomes adults and children alike with fun family programming during the day and acoustic performances in the evening. Families can watch the stage come to life with entertaining juggling acts, magic and science shows, kids musical performances and more. At night, the stage will have a coffee house vibe with acoustic performances on Friday and Saturday inside the Marketing Associates Tent on Woodward Avenue.
All New Meridian Winter Blast Attractions
Boyne Lets It Snow
An all-new feature, City Slopes presented by Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain will bring a taste of the northern Michigan resorts to the middle of Cadillac Square with a real ski hill and guaranteed snow. The new attraction gives beginners and more experienced rippers and shredders an opportunity to experience a skiing adventure in the middle of the city.
Polar Plunge to Support Special Olympics
The Polar Plunge is coming to the Meridian Winter Blast this year, where brave participants can take the “plunge” into a pool of freezing water to support Special Olympics of Michigan. Family and friends will be encouraged to donate in support of a loved one’s jump. Plungers will have access to a special heated changing area and receive a free hot chocolate and skate rental. Those interested can register at www.winterblast.com.
The Food Truck Rally features unique dining choices for visitors to sample the vast array of culinary options in metro Detroit. Participating in the 2018 festival are the Nosh Pit, Crepe Day-Twah, Imperial Ferndale, Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina, Soaring Eagle Casino Cuisine Machine, Sweet Water Tavern, Beans & Cornbread, Hero or Villain, Famous Dave’s, Mercurio Food Specialties, Shredderz and Mac Shack.
Food will also be available inside for those looking to escape the cold. The Monroe Tent will feature flavorful options from festival favorites including Famous Dave’s and New Order Coffee. Festivalgoers will also have exciting and eclectic options available to them in the Lodge at Cadillac Square.
Festival patrons can participate in free ice-skating at Campus Martius Park for the entire three days of the festival. Attendees can also enjoy live skating exhibitions and performances by local skating clubs throughout the weekend.
Thrill seekers will enjoy returning festival favorites, such as the Meridian Winter Slide and the Zipline Adventure. Riders on the slide will experience speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and a 30-foot high, 40-degree angle drop on the bigger slide, with a smaller option available that includes a 20-foot high and 30-degree drop. On the zipline, patrons will soar across Cadillac Square in 20 seconds, for a panoramic view of Campus Martius Park.
The perfect photo opportunity awaits festivalgoers at this year’s all-new “US Ice” Garden, located at the southern end of the festival footprint. Be transported into a gallery of icy proportions featuring spectacular, lighted ice sculptures with a variety of different themes, from “Winter Wildlife” to “Detroit Sports,” a “Gallery of Thrones” to “Gallery of Cars,” along with traditional iconic sculptures in “Spirit of Detroit” and more.
Attendees can stay toasty and warm by one of the many marshmallow-roasting stations located throughout the festival, courtesy of Detroit Downtown Development Authority. Marshmallow and s’more kits will be available for purchase to enjoy as a tasty treat with family and friends.
The festival dates are a result of a partnership with the North American International Auto Show, as both events will promote the other in efforts to maximize tourism and positive impact to downtown Detroit. The key aspect of the collaboration will feature free, same day admission to Meridian Winter Blast for any patron of the NAIAS.
Admissions and Charitable Giving
Meridian Winter Blast is teaming with Matrix Human Services for the tenth year in a row with help from Chemical Bank to provide assistance to those in need during the winter. Admission to the 2018 Meridian Winter Blast is $3 or three canned goods or other non-perishable items. Those looking to donate food for admission to the festival can do so at select Chemical Bank locations beginning Wednesday, January 17, 2018 and continuing through Friday, January 26, 2018.
Parking Made Easy
Enjoy Meridian Winter Blast without the confusion and hassle of parking. Festivalgoers can park at a recommended lot for affordable rates and close proximity to the festival. Take advantage of $10 weekend parking rates starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday at each of the following lots.
• 1 Campus Martius Building Parking Garage, located at 1188 Farmer St.
• Kennedy Square Parking Deck, 719 Griswold St.
• The Z Deck, 1234 Library St.
Spend the Night in the City
Stay downtown and enjoy the city while attending Meridian Winter Blast. Organizers are offering festival patrons the opportunity to “Spend the Night in the City” at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel Detroit, located just blocks from the festival, at special discounted weekend rates of $169 per night. The iconic Westin Book Cadillac provides a warm and refreshing retreat after a fun-filled day of festivities. Festivalgoers must book by January 13 to receive this rate.
Meridian Winter Blast could not happen without the generous support of its sponsors, which include Meridian, Quicken Loans, Bacardi, Bell’s Brewery, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, Chemical Bank, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Light-RX, Marketing Associates, MetroPCS, Michigan Lottery, Pepsi, Redico, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Tito’s Vodka, US Park, The United Way Southeast Michigan, and the Westin Book Cadillac.
Winter Blast is Detroit’s celebration of winter experiences, dining, music and family fun held in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park from Friday, January 26, through Sunday, January 28. Originally created as the backdrop for Super Bowl XL, the festival attracted more than 75,000 people last year. For additional information, visit www.winterblast.com or call 248-541-7550.