The Meridian Winter Slide is one of many activities that will be available at this year’s Meridian Winter Blast Jan. 26-28 at Campus Martius Park in Detroit.

The Meridian Winter Slide is one of many activities that will be available at this year’s Meridian Winter Blast Jan. 26-28 at Campus Martius Park in Detroit.

Photo provided by Meridian Winter Blast


Discover Michigan: Outdoor festivals embrace winter

By: Jennifer Sigouin | C&G Newspapers | Published January 12, 2018

 Katlin Pfropper, of Columbus, Michigan, competes in the ice carving competition during a past Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester. This year’s festival will be held Jan. 19-21.

Katlin Pfropper, of Columbus, Michigan, competes in the ice carving competition during a past Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester. This year’s festival will be held Jan. 19-21.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 The 2018 Winter Microbrew & Music Festival at Mount Mancelona will include “Silent Disco,” which allows guests to dance while listening to music on personal headsets.

The 2018 Winter Microbrew & Music Festival at Mount Mancelona will include “Silent Disco,” which allows guests to dance while listening to music on personal headsets.

Photo by Oden and Janell Photography

When the weather outside is frightful, and the temperatures are not so delightful, some Michiganders might feel the urge to go into hibernation mode — but winter can be a lot more fun if you simply embrace it. For those who choose the latter, outdoor events in metro Detroit and beyond will give you a reason to say, “Let it snow.”

 

Fire & Ice Festival 
Jan. 19-21 • Rochester
Downtown Rochester will transform into a winter wonderland for three days during the annual Fire & Ice Festival Jan 19-21. 

The event, sponsored by Oakland County Credit Union, will give visitors a chance to try their hand at a number of classic winter activities, including snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, carriage rides and tube sledding. Other attractions include a college ice carving contest on Jan. 20, the Brooksie Way Chill at the Mills 5K race on Jan. 21, and fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Festivalgoers can also view ice sculptures along Main Street, grab a bite to eat at one of several food trucks, and enjoy live musical entertainment.

“The city of Rochester is truly excited to host the 2018 Fire & Ice Festival, a celebration of Michigan’s winter activities,” Rochester Mayor Robert Ray said in a press release. “We would like to welcome everyone to come experience all that our city has to offer and share in this exciting, family-friendly event.”

The festival runs 5-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21; and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Due to a construction project at the festival’s previous site at Third and Water streets, most of the winter activities will move to the open field at Second and Mill streets this year. Parking is available in downtown Rochester, and there will also be a shuttle running between the festival and Buffalo Wild Wings at 1234 Walton Blvd. For the full festival schedule and more information, visit Facebook.com/FireAndIceRochester.

 

Meridian Winter Blast
Jan. 26-28 • Detroit
Meridian Winter Blast returns to Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit Jan. 26-28, and this year, the festival is getting a little help from some Up North friends. 

Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain will bring the thrill of northern Michigan skiing to Cadillac Square with “City Slopes” — two snow hills, including a beginner bunny hill and a steeper slope for those with more experience.  

“Our new partnership with Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands offers us the exciting opportunity to bring skiing and snowboarding to Winter Blast for the first time,” festival organizer Jon Witz said in a press release. “This new element for the festival also guarantees we’ll be bringing back an old element we’ve missed in recent years — snow!”

Other attractions include a 30-foot-high slide, a zip line, ice sculptures, ice carving demonstrations, free ice skating, warming stations and a food truck rally. Those willing to brave the cold are also invited to take the Winter Blast Polar Plunge into a pool of freezing water to benefit the Special Olympics of Michigan. 

Festival hours are 4-11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27; and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28. Admission costs $3 or a donation of three canned goods or nonperishable items. For more information, visit www.winterblast.com or call (248) 541-7550.

 

Winter Microbrew and Music Festival
Feb. 10 • Mancelona
Late last year, Traverse City residents Sam and Abby Porter purchased the historic Mount Mancelona ski hill and lodge in Mancelona — just north of Kalkaska — with plans to transform the property into a one-of-a-kind event venue. On Feb. 10, visitors will have a chance to check out the site during the 2018 Winter Microbrew and Music Festival, which is moving to Mount Mancelona from its previous home in Traverse City. 

“The festival is just a celebration of Michigan craft beer, music and great food,” said Sam Porter, who not only owns the property but also organizes the festival each year. “Mount Mancelona is just unbelievably cool.”

The festival will offer more than 200 Michigan craft beers, ciders, meads and wines, along with a multistage music lineup — featuring Mustard Plug and The Ragbirds — in a heated tent. There will also be a “Silent Disco” heated tent with more than 1,000 wireless headsets available as a DJ spins 1980s and ’90s throwbacks. 

“Our winter version of this festival is a blast,” said Sam Porter. “It’s always such a pleasure to see so many good folks come together to celebrate our communities, dance, huddle around glowing bonfires, share stories and smiles, and raise a toast to the seasons of northern Michigan.”

For tickets and more information, visit microbrewandmusic.com.

 

More festivals coming up:

 

Fire & Ice With Spice
Feb. 24 • Downtown Clawson — www.cityofclawson.com

Tip-Up Town USA
Jan. 19-21 and Jan. 26-28 • Houghton Lake — www.visithoughtonlake.com/tipuptown.shtml

Aqua Freeze Festival
Feb. 17-18 • St. Clair Shores — www.scsaquafreezefest.com

Winter Carnival
Feb. 15-18 • Petoskey — www.petoskeydowntown.com

Michigan Snowmobile Festival
Feb. 24 • Gaylord — www.gaylordmichigan.net