Winter Blast moves to Royal Oak from Detroit

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The slide at Detroit's Winter Blast. - Courtesy of Winter Blast
Courtesy of Winter Blast
The slide at Detroit's Winter Blast.

Detroit's longstanding Winter Blast festival has found a new home in Royal Oak.

Organizers announced the move Wednesday. The festival, now dubbed Winter Blast Royal Oak presented by the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, will be held Friday, Feb. 4-Sunday, Feb. 6 in downtown Royal Oak.

Earlier this month, organizers announced that the 2022 festival would be canceled "due to funding challenges." At the time, they blamed time constraints caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors.

"I want to thank the City of Royal Oak and the Royal Oak DDA for providing critical funding to continue this great winter tradition, and we’ll have an exciting new layout and plans to announce in the coming weeks," Jon Witz, Winter Blast Royal Oak festival producer, said in a statement. "Winter Blast is a celebration of winter experiences, dining, live music, and family fun. Attendees can expect the same wonderful winter-themed attractions they've come to know and look forward to over the years, as well as some new programming."

Winter attractions include an ice rink constructed at the Royal Oak Farmers Market with free ice skating and skate rentals available for a nominal fee. The winter slide will also return, as well as a 300-foot zip line, and an "Ice Garden" of ice sculptures.

There will also be heated tents and roasting bonfires for s'mores, as well as food trucks. Live music acts are also set to be announced on Jan. 11.

From the sound of the press release, it sounds like WInter Blast may have found a permanent new home in Royal Oak.

"For Royal Oak, cold weather means a new hot festival. We are thrilled to bring Winter Blast to downtown Royal Oak and have our city’s residents and families from all over metro Detroit embrace its seasonal offerings," Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier said in a statement. "We anticipate the event to be safe and enjoyable for all and for it to also have a positive economic impact on our downtown businesses. This is an opportunity to start a new winter tradition right here in Royal Oak, a destination for year-round festivals."

Admission to the festival will be free.

Winter Blast made its debut in downtown Detroit's Campus Martius Park ahead of the city hosting the 2006 Super Bowl.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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