Lauren Bjerk
The South End

Whether in search of family-oriented entertainment, a wild night out or just a great meal, Detroit’s Winter Blast, located at Campus Martius Park Feb. 6-8, is poised to have something for everyone.

The Winter Blast will be introducing two new attractions this year. The first is the Arctic Blast, a brand new ice slide that reaches 150 feet in height. The other is the Winter Carnival, featuring six family-friendly amusement park rides.

“The Winter Carnival is a great addition to the overall Winter Blast festival experience,” said Jon Witz, event producer. “Families will enjoy another budget conscious attraction that will entertain and delight our youngest festival guests. It’s just one more reason to come out and enjoy metro Detroit’s favorite winter-themed event.”

In addition to the carnival rides, the Winter Blast has kid-friendly fun down to a T, with attractions like arts and crafts, jugglers and comedians.

Since ice is Michigan winter’s trademark, it is no wonder that the Winter Blast has several ice-oriented attractions.

There will be free ice skating at Campus Martius and also local professional and amateur figure skaters performing.

Additionally, an ice garden that features sculptures of “Kung Fu Panda” and “SpongeBob” will be present. Not only will viewers get to see the sculptures, but also Friday will be ice carving day, when they will be able to watch the artists as they transform a block of ice into a piece of art.

There will also be attractions for music lovers. With three different stages and DJ booths, the Winter Blast offers an eclectic program of music, ranging from bluegrass to reggae.
Because times are tough, over 60 of Detroit’s fanciest restaurants are offering a 15 percent discount over the weekend to encourage patrons during this difficult financial time.

“This year, I think restaurateurs were particularly compelled to participate,” Witz said. “They know times are challenging. This is a win-win for both the restaurant owners and festival patrons. [It offers] top-notch food at rarely seen prices for festival visitors and increased foot traffic for restaurants.”

The community will also benefit from this event. The restaurants vow to donate up to 10 percent of each sale to The Children’s Center in Detroit, Witz said.

The Winter Blast is also accommodating those who want to celebrate long after the festivities are over by having the Monroe Street Blast and the Bar Blast.

The Monroe Street Blast takes place on Friday night, where many hangouts in Greektown offer no cover charge and drink specials all night.

On Saturday night, a bus will take participants to several drinking establishments that are participating in the Bar Blast.

Many of Detroit’s finest hotels are also offering discounts for those who want to make the Winter Blast into a winter vacation. Hoteliers anticipate that with all these events packed into three days, some people may want to relax after all of the festivities.


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