Fire & Ice Festival Adjusts to Warm Weather
In spite of unseasonably warm temperatures and no snow in the forecast. The Fire & Ice Festival Committee is replacing some of its winter-driven events with a variety of outdoor family-friendly activities from Oakland County Parks and Recreation. Admission and events remain free.
Events that will not take place this year due to the anticipated warmer temperatures include tube sledding, ice skating, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing. “‘The show must go on,’ as they say in show biz,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “Families from all over Michigan will still be able to experience many outdoor activities and the nice weather at the Fire & Ice Festival.”
Oakland County Parks and Recreation will provide a 25-foot tall rock climbing tower; a 5-in-1 Sports inflatable that features soccer, basketball, baseball, football, and Frisbee; Go Cache which teaches the basics of geocaching; Retro Games which will include many field day favorites like sack races, tug-o-war ropes, kickball, parachute games, and more; Go Golf to practice golf swings at an inflatable target; and Go Fish Backyard Bass Clinics using poles rigged with plugs and plastic fish to teach the basics and safety of fishing.
Fire & Ice Festival attendees will also enjoy fireworks Friday and Saturday night; the Big, Bright Light Show; ice sculptures; the collegiate ice carving contest; the TasteFest tent; spaghetti dinner and pancake breakfast fundraisers for the Rochester Area Youth Assistance; food trucks; live entertainment; face painting; pet adoption; and shopping in beautiful downtown Rochester.
Even the dogsled rides are still on but now in the Farmers’ Market parking lot. The sleds will have wheels. Plus, the Brooksie Way Chill at the Mills 5k race still anticipates a record of about 1,000 participants Sunday morning.
Registration for the The Brooksie Way Chill at the Mills 5k race remains open through race day which takes place at the festival Sunday, January 22 at 9:30 a.m. The Chill at the Mills is on pace to host a record of almost 1,000 participants. Shelton Buick GMC is the race sponsor. To register, go to www.TheBrooksieWay.com.
“The 2017 Fire & Ice Festival is as big an event as any other year with snow,” said J. David VanderVeen, Fire & Ice Festival Committee chairperson. “So, come on out and be part of this incredible occasion.”
New this year: The Fire & Ice Committee has produced a 30-second promotional video to build buzz via social media; a Fire & Ice Festival shirt featuring one of the festival’s mascot penguins will be available for purchase; there will be an addition to the ice tree by which festival goers took selfies last year – a flame will be shooting out of the top.
“The Fire & Ice Festival is Oakland County’s premier winter family event which draws tens of thousands of individuals to downtown Rochester,” Patterson said. “The best part, admission and events are free.”
Families may once again go home with a new furry best friend. Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center will have a tent at the Fire & Ice Festival to adopt dogs and to renew or purchase dog licenses.
The Rochester Fire & Ice Festival welcomes back musical guest Jennifer Kincer & Friends who will perform live on stage Friday and Saturday night. In addition, the Rochester Fire Department will host spaghetti dinners Friday and Saturday night and a pancake breakfast Sunday morning to support Rochester Area Youth Assistance.
“Our downtown Rochester businesses and residents love the Fire & Ice Festival,” Rochester Mayor Cathy Daldin said. “It is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight our community to individuals from all over Michigan.”
The Fire & Ice Festival runs from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Friday, January 20; 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday, January 21; and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday, January 22. Fireworks are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The festival site is at East Water and Third streets in downtown Rochester. Parking is available in downtown Rochester or at Buffalo Wild Wings at 1234 Walton in Rochester. There will be a free shuttle running between the restaurant and the festival. For detailed event schedules and more information, go to www.Facebook.com/FireAndIceRochester.