Meridian Winter Blast makes changes with new dates, new layout and more attractions

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For the past 13 years the Winter Blast has brought winter fun downtown for kids and adults alike. This year there will be some changes and new additions to the Meridian Winter Blast.

The newest partner with the Winter Blast will be the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Along with that partnership, there will be a new date for the Winter Blast.

The Winter Blast will now fall in the last weekend of the Auto Show, January 20 through 22 of 2017.

“The new festival date takes us back to our roots when we held the first Winter Blast in 2005 during the same time frame,” said Jon Witz Meridian Winter Blast festival organizer. “This is all about activating the downtown area. Nearly one hundred thousand people come to Cobo Center for the last weekend of the North American International Auto Show and we anticipate Meridian Winter Blast’s move to an earlier date this year will also encourage Auto Show goes to visit Campus Martius Park.”

The Winter Blast has also changed the layout. You can check out the changes on the map.

There are some great additions to the 2017 Winter Blast. There has been an update to the Winter Slide which is one of the favorite attractions of the festival.

The new slide will be 30 feet high and will take riders through a black tube and drop them at a 40 degree angle. There will also be another slide that will have a 30 degree angle for kids and those who are less adventurous.

Ice will be featured prominently during the festival. There will be two brand-new ice attractions that are sponsored by Bedrock. There will be an ice maze that will be 30 feet by 40 feet. The maze will be located on Woodward on the south side of Campus Martius.

There will also be a 16 foot carved ice bar. There will be tables and chairs carved out of ice as well. Adults can enjoy cold drinks while listening to music. Don’t worry about getting too cold, there will be portable heaters throughout the area to you can thaw out. The bar will be open on Friday and Saturday night from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The bar is 21 and over.

The Ice Garden will have a Warner Bros. theme this year. There will be life size ice sculptures of LEGO Batman, Kong: Skull Island, King Arthur, and Wonder Woman.

The Detroit Interactive Sports Zone will be another new addition. Festival goers can come out and try their hand at the Top Shot Electronic Hockey Net, participate in the new “One-On-One with the Detroit Pistons” cinematic game experience. There will be raffles for Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons items.

Another new addition to the festival is a Food Truck Rally. The rally will be located along Monroe Street outside of The Hard Rock Cafe. Some of the trucks that are participating are Mac Shack, Beans& Cornbread, Chef in a Box and Hero or Villain Deli.

As many new things were are, they have kept fan favorites as well. The Zip Line will return, as well as the free ice skating for the entire weekend. Festival goers will be able to purchase s’more kits to use at any of the roasting stations.

Admission to the festival will still be $3 per person or three nonperishable items or a children’s book. Items will go toward helping fight hunger in metro Detroit. As part of the partnership with the NAIAS families will have free same day admission to the Winter Blast with a hand stamp from the Auto Show.

Dates and hours for Winter Blast: Friday, January 20 4 p.m.- 11 p.m., Saturday, January 21 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., and Sunday, January 22 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

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