Detroit is a melting pot for innovation and is arguably one of the world’s leading influencers of contemporary culture today. Think KISS and The White Stripes Detroit Rock City. Think Ford and Chrysler and Motor City. Think the Cool Kids and Eminem and Hip Hop. Think “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe and the Red Wings. And yes, think Jazz and R&B and king Berry Gordy and Motown. And out of Detroit’s many metonyms, in the month of February, the city prepares to cook and serve this cultural melting pot to the entire world: The annual Motown Winter Blast; a winter festival attracting over 75 000 people in a span of two days between February 8th to February 10th.
Since its inception in 2005, the Motown Winter Blast at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit has grown from a few corporate logos — originally forged to preface Superbowl XL — into one of the city’s biggest emotionally-tugging winter events of the year. It merges gritty rock, unpredictable jazz, soulful R&B with winter sports and art deco skylines that transport you straight into the age when the machines of yesteryear were on the cusp of taking over. Sounds familiar huh? Pretty cool.
What to do at Motown Winter Blast?
Aside from stargazing at the 50 musical and entertainment acts, Motown Winter Blasts offers a soulful winter ambiance, something reminiscent to an authentic yet warmer Canadian winter with tingly-up-down-my-spine-holiday-feelings warmer regions would die to have for a few weeks (or days depending who you are). As soon as you step in expect to see impressive ice sculptures and wholesome silhouettes on site, professional skating demonstrations, snow-shoeing, and ice skating. If you have a sweet tooth, roast your marshmallows by the fire and get nice and cozy with your friends and family.
Should you bring the kids?
Don’t let the glitz and glam fool you. Bring the kiddies along and explore the Kids Zone, a place where anyone with a child’s heart can roam free and relive the days when playtime was all that mattered. When you need to keep warm you’ll find heating stations every 150 feet both indoors and outdoors. Regardless where your recreational compass may lead you, you’ll find magicians, jugglers, puppeteers, and more plotted throughout – a picture of fond memories waiting to happen.
Will you want to stay for the entire weekend?
When you’re living and breathing the Motown Winter Blast, its contagious energy overcomes any call for Sunday responsibility. If you’re planning to make an entire weekend out of it, The Westin Book Cadillac (1114 Washington Boulevard) offers special rates at $129/night. It’d make a great home base being only a 2-block jaunt away from the 6.5 million square foot Campus Martius Park. As soon as you step into your suite, exquisite beds – heaven on a mattress – and 42” flat panel HD TV’s await. When your tummy rumbles, award-winning restaurants are found below and around within walking distance.
Will you break the piggy bank?
Not at all. However, Motown Winter Blast introduces the “Break The Ice” Poverty campaign for the first time this year; asking each attendee to bring a canned good or $1 admission fee. If you’re looking for real-time updates feel free to follow the Motown Winter Blast on Twitter at @WinterBlast or check out their website at www.winterblast.com.