Rochester, Michigan -- The sixth annual Fire & Ice Festival kicks off the last weekend of January in downtown Rochester with a new mascot, a new logo, a concert and a host of free winter activities that celebrate winter in Oakland County.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the event, which is set for Jan. 25-27, continues to be among the premier winter events in Michigan. Activities include dog sled rides, a tube sledding hill, ice skating, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, ice carvings, marshmallow roasting and a TasteFest/beer tent. There is no charge for any of the winter activities.
A spectacular fireworks display begins about 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday near the corner of East Third and Water Streets. The fireworks are sponsored by Soave Real Estate and Hour Detroit. A concert by the teen singing group, TRUE, precedes the fireworks each night. The Big, Bright Light Show, which illuminates downtown stores in a glorious rainbow of colors, will be on from 6 p.m. to midnight each day of the festival.
"We expect this to be the best Fire & Ice we've ever had," Patterson said. "Last year Mother Nature threw us a curve with some warm weather but we're hopeful this year we'll have everything we need for a wonderful celebration of winter in downtown Rochester."
New to the festival is a naming contest for the penguin mascot. Downtown Rochester Executive Director Kristi Trevarrow said the public is being asked to help name the mascot. The online contest begins today at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/fireandicemascot. The top three names will go to a vote at the festival on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26, with the winner announced Jan. 26 before the fireworks. Voting takes place in the Lions Club Warming Tent and the TasteFest tent. All who submit a name will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to downtown Rochester.
The TasteFest includes offerings from Chomp, Buffalo Wild Wings, Holy Cannoli's, U.P. Pasties and the Rochester Mills Beer Co.
The festival runs Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Complete information is at AdvantageOakland.com or DowntownRochesterMi.com.
The Fire & Ice Festival is presented by Oakland County, Oakland County Parks, Downtown Rochester and the city of Rochester. It is sponsored by Hour Detroit, Soave Real Estate, Rochester Mills Beer Co., Shelton Buick GMC, Oakland County Credit Union, Buffalo Wild Wings, Genisys Credit Union, The Brooksie Way, the Royal Park Hotel, Onyx Rochester Ice Arena and Premier Event Products.