Winter Blast to rock downtown Feb. 7-9

Michael H. Hodges
The Detroit News

Mark your calendar: this season's Winter Blast, now official the Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend, will blow into town with a blizzard of activities Feb. 7-9 at Campus Martius Park.

The free snow-bound revel, now in its 15th frigid year, was initially created for Super Bowl XL, but has become a downtown Detroit tradition. 

This year, instructors from Mt. Brighton will teach elementary skiing and snowboarding at February's Winter Blast.

"We were one of the first events that brought Campus Martius Park to life," said Winter Blast Weekend producer Jon Witz, who notes that the first, trial-run Winter Blast took place in 2005, just one year after the new park's inauguration and the year before the Super Bowl. 

"We’re really the legacy from Super Bowl XL," he added. "We're the one event that’s stayed on and strong ever since." 

As usual, Winter Blast will brim with family-friendly activities, ranging from ski and snowboarding instruction from Mt. Brighton instructors, to free skating in Campus Martius all weekend thanks to Delta Dental. 

Skating at Campus Martius Park will be free the entire Winter Blast weekend in February.

And the adventurous will surely want to check out the Woodward Avenue zipline.

"It's fun and a favorite now for a few years," Witz said. "It’s 300 feet long, and runs from the south end of Campus Martius all the way to Congress Street. It starts 34 feet up in the air. It's just thrilling."

In addition, of course, there will be ice-carving demonstrations, "roasting stations" scattered throughout where you can get warm, and all sorts of fabulous food trucks offering a smorgasbord of wicked-good eats. 

As Witz sees it, it's all just good for Detroit. 

"I like embracing the winter," he said, "and seeing these activities with the urban backdrop. It's a great way to celebrate the city and all the good things going on."

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Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend

Feb. 7-9

Campus Martius Park, downtown Detroit