Why You Should Plan Your January Around Rochester's Fire & Ice Festival
It starts two weeks from today; here's a sneak preview of what's new and what's returning.
Sledding, skiing and skating return to downtown Rochester later this month.
The sixth-annual Fire & Ice Festival is Jan. 25-27. There are dog sled rides and a cross-country ski trail. Third Street is transformed into a sledding hill; part of the field near Third and Water streets is transformed into an ice skating rink. Ice sculptures will line Main Street. A food and beer tent will keep everyone warm and well-fed.
And then there's the fireworks show.
Shows are planned for both Friday and Saturday nights of the festival. They start at 8 p.m.
The three-day festival is a collaboration of downtown Rochester and Oakland County parks. All of the attractions are free.
In addition to the much-loved attractions of years' past, here's what's new for 2013:
- Concerts. The local teen singing group True will perform on Friday and Saturday night before the fireworks show.
- A mascot. It's a penguin.
- A contest. You can help name the penguin by voting in an online contest here. Top three names will be voted on by visitors to the festival with the winner announced Saturday night before the fireworks.
County and city leaders unveiled the new mascot during a press conference Thursday in Rochester. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson attended.
"We expect this to be the best Fire & Ice we’ve ever had," Patterson said, according to a press release. "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."
The 2012 event was postponed until February and scaled back due to unseasonably warm weather.
Festival hours are 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 25, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 26 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 27.
Which attraction are you most looking forward to at Fire & Ice?