Rochester, Michigan -- Runners and walkers who are interested in participating in the inaugural Fire & Ice Festival 'Chill at the Mills' 5k race are running out of time to register for the first winter race affiliated with The Brooksie Way.
More than 500 racers have registered for the first-time event, which is one of the new attractions for the seventh annual Fire & Ice Festival. The three-day festival opens Friday at 5 p.m. The race is set for 9 a.m. Sunday behind the Rochester Mills Beer Co. Online registration at TheBrooksieWay.com closes at noon Saturday. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. The race is sponsored by Shelton Buick GMC.
"This has exceeded all of our expectations and we’re accepting applications right up until race time," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "Right now we’re at nearly 500 racers, more than double what we were hoping to get for a first-time race."
The race is among several activities premiering at Fire & Ice, now in its seventh year, including a food truck rally and a pet adoption center. Other 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.
The fireworks display, sponsored by Hour Detroit and Soave Real Estate, begins about 8 p.m. on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 near the corner of East Third and Water Streets. A concert by the teen singing group, By the Way, 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.
Because of the cold temperatures expected this weekend, additional fire rings have been set up at various locations around the festival.
The TasteFest includes offerings from Chomp, Buffalo Wild Wings, Holy Cannoli’s, Ganbei, Main Street Deli and the Rochester Mills Beer Co. Live carving demonstrations are set for Friday at 6 p.m. at the Rochester Mills Beer Co. and Saturday at East Third and Main Street from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Dog sled rides are Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New this year the Oakland County Animal Control division will have a display and offer pets for adoption near the Rochester Fire Department.
The festival runs Friday 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 on activities 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, Auto Lab and the Onyx Rochester Ice Arena.