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Winter Blast to extend to four weekends, will be free of charge

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Makilah Cobbhall, 10, of Detroit, screams as she slides down the  winter slide during the Meridian Winter Blast held at Campus Martius.

Downtown Detroit’s annual cold weather festival Winter Blast will return in 2019 as a 12-day event over four weekends and will be free to attend. 

With Quicken Loans as this year's new title sponsor, the 14th annual outdoor attraction will be Jan. 19-21 and 25-27 and Feb. 8-10 and 15-17. The Campus Martius party will run through Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well as the last two weekends of the North American international Auto Show. 

Besides the expanded dates and free admission, another change for the 2019 Winter Blast is that Woodward will remain open during all dates, and there will be no fencing around Campus Martius.  

"Instead of one festival weekend, we will now have four weekends of fun," Mayor's office Chief of Staff Alexis Wiley said at a press conference in Cadillac Square Wednesday. 

Winter Blast Weekends include family activities in a heated tent, food trucks and local music each weekend. Ice sculpture demos and marshmallow roasting are on the schedule for most weekends.  

Free ice skating is available Jan. 19-21 and Feb. 15-17 and the 30-foot Winter Slide returns Feb. 8-10. The zip line returns for the weekend of Feb. 15-17. 

The lineup of participating food trucks will change each weekend of Winter Blast, and all trucks will be joining in on Kroger's "Zero Hunger, Zero Waste" campaign. In exchange for a place at the festival, each truck will donate $500 of food to Detroit-area shelters. 

Another charity initiative is the return of the Quicken Loans Winter Blast Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Michigan Feb. 8-10. Event producer Jon Witz said the last plunge — where folks dip themselves into freezing cold water in the name of charity — raised $15,000 in 2018. 

Visit winterblast.com for more information. 

Brayden Temple, 6, of Canton, enjoys the zip line during the Meridian Winter Blast held at Campus Martius.

Twitter: @melodybaetens 

Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends

Jan. 19-21 and 25-27 and Feb. 8-10 and 15-17

Campus Martius

800 Woodward, Detroit

Free admission 

winterblast.com or  (248) 541-7550