New look, stellar musical acts, family fun activities set
Family fun and exciting entertainment return when the Motown Winter Blast, presented by the Ambassador Bridge, kicks off at Campus Martius in downtown Detroit, Friday, Feb. 10, and concludes Sunday, Feb. 12. Festival-goers will enjoy a lineup of favorite returning attractions and can expect a number of new activities. Making a welcome reappearance will be free snowshoeing, dogsledding and snowmaking.
“The stage is set and we are ready to deliver a high-quality show to downtown Detroit,” said Jonathan Witz, event producer. “(The) announcement speaks to the momentum behind this event. With so many community organizations and corporate citizens coming together to help put on the festival this year in spite of economic setbacks, we view our overall situation as nothing but a huge victory for the quality of life and a positive promotion for downtown Detroit and the region.”
The event hours will remain the same as last year: Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
NEW THIS YEAR: ‘READING IS A BLAST’
Literacy is not only crucial to success, but a lot of fun, too! This year, the General Motors Foundation will present “Reading is a Blast” to story lovers of all ages. The program will feature a children’s book collection drive to complement existing festival charity initiatives and will also make reading a featured event on the Winter Blast family stage.
CHARTER ONE BANK
Detroit’s signature winter festival boasts value-conscious activities for children of all ages. Festival patrons can ice skate for free at the Campus Martius Park rink for the entire festival weekend courtesy of Charter One Bank. This is the only weekend all year long that visitors can skate for free.
Beautifully carved and lighted ice sculptures again will be on display in the Greektown Casino Ice Garden.
Guests also will enjoy marshmallow roasting stations sponsored by Health Plan of Michigan. Positioned throughout the festival.
MUST GO ON!
Snowmaking also returns to Winter Blast with special snow cannons that will add to the festive, winter environment. Donated by Shanty Creek Resorts, the cannons will supplement any natural snow to guarantee snowshoeing and snowy hills for children to enjoy, as well as a snow blizzard for visitors to walk through during the event.
As part of its “Get Fit” campaign at Motown Winter Blast, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan once again will present free snowshoeing for the weekend.
AMBASSADOR BRIDGE COMFORT ZONES
Even with chilly temperatures, there is no need to feel cold as guests can find heat every 150 feet with the Ambassador Bridge Comfort Zones.
THE QUICKEN LOANS TASTE OF
Motown Winter Blast is pleased to bring back a real treat for festival attendees. The Quicken Loans Taste of Detroit will showcase the amazing array of culinary delights from around the metro area.
Motown Winter Blast is pleased to announce its best ever music lineup in the Ambassador Bridge Comfort Zones on three different stages,—all at no cost to attend. The voices and beat of music from many genres, including country, rock, blues, pop, acoustic, Americana, funk and soul, will resonate from three stages located in the Compuware Lobby and throughout the festival in the Comfort Zones, which provide a warm and cozy environment for listening enjoyment.
THE MICHIGAN LOTTERY STAGE
The Michigan Lottery Stage will showcase a high quality, eclectic lineup of performers in blues, rock, country, soul, funk and Caribbean music.
FLAGSTAR BANK STAGE
Festival patrons will enjoy pop, modern rock, acoustic, soul, indie, and Americana music by many outstanding performers.
THE WALMART STAGE
When the kids entertainment wraps up at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, the Walmart Stage inside Compuware will feature folk, rock, soul and world artists.
All family fun and activities will unfold on the Walmart Stage at the festival. Kids of all ages will enjoy the high-energy comedy and magic of Chris Linn’s Cool Tricks & Funny Stuff as well as the classic hijinks of Rosco the Clown and a Punch and Judy puppet show. Ventriloquist Vikki Gasko-Green and her colorful cast of characters will take to the stage throughout the weekend and will have every member of the family laughing.
Radio Disney will return for three hours on Saturday and Sunday, lineup of family fun and adventure in the form of science themed games and cool prize giveaways. Families will take part in an exclusive pre-premiere screening of Disney XD’s Lab Rats and one lucky family will take home an electronics and gadgets package sizeable enough to build their own bionic lab valued at $500.
HELP END THE CYCLE OF POVERTY
For the third consecutive year, Motown Winter Blast will partner with Matrix Human Services and the Grosse Pointe Rotary in support of “Breaking the ICE on Poverty” program. Volunteers from each organization will help collect children’s books, nonperishable food items, or one dollar at the festival gates as part of a special Motown Winter Blast “admission fee.” All donated items will be used to support a major service project that will fight hunger in metro Detroit and continue the festival’s commitment to fostering literacy.
THE OFFICIAL WINTER BLAST AFTER PARTY
Sure to attract the 21 and older crowd after hours on Friday will be the Official Winter Blast After Party at Greektown Casino, the place to warm up after Winter Blast. Located a short walk from the Winter Blast at Monroe, Greektown Casino is Detroit’s
Winning Address and your spot for post Winter Blast fun. With more than 2,500 of the most exciting slots and video poker machines, action-packed table games and a live Poker Room, Greektown Casino in Detroit is 100,000 square feet of pure gaming thrills. Visitors will enjoy the Casino, watch the game at Shotz Sports Bar & Grill or dine at Bistro555. They also can stop by the Greektown Casino-Hotel booth inside the Taste of Detroit tent during Winter Blast to receive special invitations and coupons for food and drink specials.
MOTOWN WINTER BLAST BAR BLAST
Real Detroit Weekly and Greektown Casino-Hotel help festival patrons (21 and older) heat up Saturday evening with the official Winter Blast Bar Blast. The “Snow-Torius” pub crawl will feature a dozen of downtown Detroit’s most famous and infamous drinking establishments including The Centaur, The Town Pump Tavern, The Old Shillelagh, Delux Lounge, Big City Bar and Grill, Fishbone’s Rhythm Café, Dirty Trick, Bookies Bar and Gril, The Fountain Bistro, Pulse Lounge, Cheli’s Chili Bar, Asteria, and Shotz in Greektown Casino Hotel. Shuttle service will be provided. The cost of this event is $5.
SPEND THE NIGHT IN THE CITY
With all of the excitement of Winter Blast festivities and after parties, why go home? Organizers are again offering festival patrons the opportunity to “Spend the Night in the City” at Westin Book Cadillac Hotel Detroit at special Winter Blast discounted weekend rates.
In addition to the convenience of a mini-vacation downtown, the hotel indulges the senses with amenities such as contemporary rooms, flat screen TVs, guest room services, valet parking, indoor pool fitness center and spa. The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel is offering stays for $135, which includes complimentary overnight valet parking for one car.
The return of Winter Blast is made possible with the generous support of many corporate citizens, including The Ambassador Bridge Company, Michigan Lottery, Detroit Downtown Development Association, General Motors Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, US Bank and Greektown Casino,.
Also, Wayne County, Quicken Loans, Charter One Bank, Ilitch Holdings, Health Plan of Michigan, Marketing Associates, Walmart, Detroit Receiving Hospital, GalaxE.Solutions, MetroPCS, Brown Forman, Great Lakes Beverage and Pepsi, among others.
All weekend entertainment schedules and any additional information can be found online at www.winterblast.com. Motown Winter Blast is produced by Jonathan Witz, president of Jonathan Witz & Associates.
Originally created as the backdrop for Super Bowl XL, the festival attracted more than 75,000 people last year.
For additional public information, visit www.winterblast.com or call (313) 963-8418.