Following a move from its longtime home in Detroit’s Campus Martius to downtown Royal Oak and a pandemic-induced delay, Winter Blast is finally returning this month with an exciting lineup of winter activities. Taking place Feb. 18-20 near the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market and Centennial Park, the festival will feature plenty of family-friendly music, food, and entertainment.
“We’re creating a beautiful winter wonderland that’s sure to be well received by residents, metro Detroiters, and beyond and become the go-to destination for a weekend of winter fun for years to come,” says Raul Venegas, executive director of marketing, entertainment, and sales for festival sponsor Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, in a press release.
Winter Blast musical headliners include local groups Cast-Iron Cornbread, Larry Lee & The Back in The Day Band, and the Killer Flamingos. DJs will also be spinning each evening and a Kid’s Stage will offer entertainment like the 3 Little Pigs Puppet Show and Nat Spinz Hula Hoops. Attendees can also watch ice carving demonstrations in the festival’s ice sculpture garden.
For drinks and eats, the festival has put together a food truck rally, which will include Imperial Tacos, Wing Snob, Crispelli’s, Del Rey BBQ, Fork in Nigeria, and more. Marshmallow roasting stations will also be located throughout the festival. S’mores kits start at $3. And nearby spots The Morrie and Tequila Blue will co-sponsor a Winter Blast After Party on Friday and Saturday.
Attendees can also enjoy thrilling attractions, including a 300-foot long, 34-foot high zip line that offers panoramic views of Centennial Commons Downtown Park in Royal Oak. Tickets are $10 per ride, $2 of which benefit United Way. A giant slide, which drops riders down at a 40-degree angle, will also be on site. A 30-degree angle children’s slide will be available, too. Tickets are $3 each. Additionally, the festival will offer free snowshoeing and free ice skating at the M3 Rink in the farmers market parking lot.
“Winter Blast just wouldn’t be the same without ice skating, so we’re proud to bring to life the M3 Rink at Royal Oak Farmers Market to give attendees the chance to glide, spin, lunge, or perform whatever skills they may have on ice skates and to do it for free throughout the festival weekend,” says Jon Witz, festival producer.
Finally, those daring enough to do so can brave the Winter Blast Polar Plunge, a fundraiser that requires participants to jump into a pool of freezing water. Those interested in signing up can register online, and money raised will be donated to Special Olympics Michigan. Those who wish to support the southeast Michigan nonprofit without diving into frigid temps can still make a donation online or at the festival. The goal is to raise $25,000.
Winter Blast will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Feb. 18, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Feb. 19, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 20. Admission is free.
For more information, visit winterblast.com.