Here's a weather forecast you can count on: Starting Sunday, there will be snow in Rochester.
Snow machines are scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. Sunday and will use water from the nearby Clinton River to make snow for the upcoming Fire & Ice Festival downtown.
"We are going to have more snow than we know what to do with," said Kristi Trevarrow, executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority.
Winter, winter everywhere
The DDA, along with the city of Rochester and Oakland County, are sponsoring the sixth-annual Fire & Ice Festival beginning one week from today.
There will be dog-sled rides and a cross-country ski trail. There will be three lanes of snow-tubing down Third Street. An ice-skating rink will be constructed in the field near Third and Water streets.
And a fireworks show will light the sky Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.
Last year, unseaonably warm weather forced the postponement and scale-back of the festival.
"Last year it wasn't even cold enough to make snow," said Trevarrow. It has to be 28 degrees or below in order to make snow; forecasts in Rochester call for a high of 25 degrees Sunday, 21 degrees Monday, 18 degrees Tuesday and 21 degrees Wednesday.
"We expect this to be the best Fire & Ice we’ve ever had," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson during a news conference last week. "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."
As part of the festivities, about 40 ice sculptures will arrive next Friday morning. They will be placed in front of businesses; all of the sculptures will have an "around-the-world" theme, Trevarrow said.
New this year will be concerts: the local teen singing group True will perform on Friday and Saturday night before the fireworks show.
Also new this year, the festival will have its own mascot: a penguin.You can help name the penguin by voting in an online contest here. The top three names will be voted on by visitors to the festival with the winner announced Saturday night before the fireworks. Trevarrow said there are about 300 entries in the contest so far.
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. Here's a complete schedule of events.