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Winter Blast Weekend 2021 in Downtown Detroit is canceled

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Downtown Detroit's annual outdoor, snow-filled festival Winter Blast Weekend is being put on hold for 2021. 

Traditionally taking place in January or February in and around Campus Martius Park over the past 16 years, the family-friendly and often free event plans to return in 2022. 

Brad Groszkiewicz of US Ice Carvings works on torching an ice sculpture piece for the 2019 Motown Winter Blast in Detroit.

“There are many factors related to COVID-19 that have led to the cancellation of the 2021 event,” said festival producer Jon Witz, who also oversees Royal Oak's Arts, Beats & Eats event. “Between a spike in cases both nationally and in Michigan and suggested limitations in large gatherings by both the CDC and State of Michigan, we have made the decision to focus our efforts on planning in 2022. The health and safety of our guests, sponsors and stakeholders is our top priority and we hope for positive developments in treatments or a vaccine that will hopefully allow larger special events to happen later in 2021.”

Jaime Wilkins, 40, of Detroit, music director of the Meridian Winter Blast, takes the Special Olympics polar plunge.

Winter Blast debuted in 2006 to coincide with Detroit's hosting of Super Bowl XL. It has returned in various forms to provide mid-Winter, snow-friendly activities to the city that often included local bands, food, roasting marshmallows, ice sculptures and a chance to experience skiing and snowboarding in an urban setting. 

The free event in early 2020 hosted 75,000 people, according to organizers. 

"Over the years Winter Blast has been an inclusive, family-oriented festival that brought thousands into the city to appreciate all of the amazing progress going on here and we’re really proud of that.” said Witz.

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens