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After the Arctic blast get ready for a Winter Blast of fun in downtown Detroit

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As the North American International Auto Show winds down in late January, Campus Martius becomes a celebration of music, food and winter-themed events when the 2017 Meridian Winter Blast comes to life on Friday, Jan. 20 – Sunday, Jan. 22 and brings another respite from the harsh Detroit winter.

The revelry takes place Friday, 4 – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.  The Meridian Winter Blast is brought to us by Quicken Loans.

Detroit lends nearly 50 of its artists to the weekend celebration that includes new stages. There’s a new one called the Movement Stage located near the Bedrock Ice Bar. This is where you’ll hear DJs from Detroit’s Movement Electronic Music Festival on Friday and Saturday night from 8 to 11 p.m. Be sure and catch DJ Thornstryker and DJ Ryan Richards spinning electronic music while surrounded by an entire bar carved out of ice.

Bedrock Ice Bar

Bedrock Ice Bar

The DTE Energy Family Stage accommodates both ends of the family spectrum – kids and adults. When the sun is out, kids can enjoy juggling acts, magic and science shows, musical performances and more inside the Marketing Associates Tent on Woodward Avenue. As night falls, their parents can return (or even those of you without kids) to enjoy a series of acoustic performances that would be at home in any coffee house.

The Michigan Lottery Stage and Soaring Eagle Casino Stage have a more eclectic collection that mixes new and old. New performers include AwesomeR, Bricktown Station and Casey Cooper and the returning musical acts are Nina & the Buffalo Riders, Thornetta Davis Band, Stone Clover, 75 SKYrise, Paul Lamb and more.

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For the seasoned veterans, there are still things to discover with brand new attractions. Chief among them may be food from local restaurants and food trucks parked all along Monroe Street. The menus vary from southern comfort food to hearty, south of the border options and all stops in-between.

(See below for the list of restaurant and food truck menus.)

Feeling adventurous? The 30-foot high Meridian Winter Slide drops riders through pitch-black tubes at speeds up to 20 mph. Feeling really courageous? Two of the tubes have a 40-degree angle. The other two are at a 30-degree angle for children and those feeling a bit less adventurous.

Winter+Slide

Meridian Winter Slide

For more thrills take a trip down the longest zipline in Michigan, the MetroPCS Zipline Adventure. There are two lines so you and friend can start 34 feet about the ground and soar from atop Cadillac Square and get a bird’s eye view of Campus Martius.  You’ll be moving pretty fast – the whole thing takes 20 seconds – so don’t close your eyes.

Movie fans can check out the Meridian Winter Blast Ice Garden to see upcoming Warner Bros. films carved in ice. Featured films include The Lego Batman Movie; Kong, Skull Island; King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Wonder Woman. Additionally, Lego Batman, Robin and Batgirl make an appearance on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Pistons and Red Wings are also at the Blast – up close and personal.

Two veteran Red Wings are the DTE Energy Family Stage to sign autographs. From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, it’s former goaltender Manny Legace and on Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m., it’s defenseman Jason Woolley.

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, also on the DTE Energy Family Stage, the Detroit Pistons feature a performance and autograph session from their fabulous Dance Team. On Sunday, Pistons legend Rick Mahorn is on hand at 1:15 p.m. for photos and autographs.

(Please see below for the listing of stage schedules.)

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be old favorites on site. All weekend long skating at Campus Martius is free thanks to St. John’s Providence. There are live skating exhibitions and performances by local skating clubs throughout the weekend.

Of course, you can’t have the Winter Blast without marshmallow roasting stations (and s’more kits), so they’re back thanks to the Detroit Downtown Development Authority.

Marshmallow roasting stations

Marshmallow roasting stations

Being Detroit in winter, there has to be a hockey competition. All in attendance have a chance to take a shot with stick and puck to win prizes from Great Expressions Dental Centers, Winter Blast and the Detroit Red Wings. The grand prize winner has a choice of a free set of Invisalign braces or a dental care package from GEDC valued at $5,000. The competition takes place on the ice rink at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 5 p.m. Sunday.

All of this is done in partnership with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Both events help promote Detroit and build a better image of the city. Part of the deal is free, same day admission to Meridian Winter Blast for any patron of NAIAS.  The dates were changed from February this year to grab onto the momentum throughout the city during the last weekend of the auto show. It closes on Jan. 22.

The price of admission to the Meridian Winter Blast is either $3 or three canned goods or non-perishable items, which will be given to the needy by Matrix Human Services and Chemical Bank.

If you wish to come all three days, there is a $10 all-weekend parking pass, which allows you to use the permitted lots all day after 4 p.m. The lots are:

  • Campus Martius Building Parking Garage, located at 1188 Farmer St.
  • Kennedy Square Parking Deck, 719 Griswold St.
  • The Z Deck, 1234 Library St.

Want to stay downtown and enjoy the city while attending Meridian Winter Blast? Organizers are offering festival patrons the opportunity to “Spend the Night in the City” at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel Detroit at special discounted weekend rates of $169 per night. You must book by Jan. 13 to receive this rate. The hotel is just two blocks from the festival.

Anyone can tell you how unpredictable, hellish, and unnaturally long winters in Michigan are. Here is a chance to insert a carnival atmosphere smack in the middle of it.

Here are some Winter Blast Details:

2017 MERIDIAN WINTER BLAST MUSIC SCHEDULE

Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Stage

Friday, Jan. 20

4:30 to 5:15 p.m.  

Zander Michigan

Singer/Songwriter

5:45 to 6:30 p.m.

Boogie Woogie Kid Trio

Boogie Woogie

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Bricktown Station

Loft Rock

8:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

Stone Clover

rish Rock & Roll

10:00 to 11:00 p.m. 

Paul Lamb and the Detroit Breakdown

Blues/Classic Rock 

Saturday, Jan. 21

11:45 to 12:30 p.m. 

Sophia Avocado

Singer/Songwriter

1:00 to 12:30 p.m.

AcousticAsh

Singer/Songwriter

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.  

Kira Blue

Singer/Songwriter

4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Trey Simon

R&B/Pop/Soul

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Inohs Sivad Evolution

Rock Funk Soul

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The Gasoline Gypsies

Rock n’ Roll/ Country & Blues Edge

8:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

Roots Vibrations

Reggae, Soca

10:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Dave Hamilton Band

Rock

Sunday, Jan. 22

11:15 to 12:00 p.m. 

Handsome Pete

Rock

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.  

SIAS

World/Pop

2:00 to 3:00 p.m. 

Escaping Pavement

Americana

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

Jibs Brown & The Jambros

Rootsy Blues

5:00 to 6:00 p.m. 

The Social Bandits

Rock

6:30 to 8:00 p.m. 

The Persuasion Band

Straight Up Party!

Michigan Lottery Stage 

Friday, Jan. 20

4:00 to 5:00 p.m.  

Mia Green

Singer/Songwriter

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  

The People’s Republic of Casey Cooper

Rock/Folk

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Alise King

R&B/Blues

8:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

Ulterior Motive

Rock

10:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Thornetta Davis Band

Indie Blues

Saturday, Jan. 21

11:30 to 12:15 

A man named Hooper

Acoustic Pop/Punk

12:45 to 1:30 p.m.

The Steve Taylor Three

Americana

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  

Cold Tone Harvest

Americana

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Sam Van Wagoner

Blues/Pop

5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Bobby McManus and his Band

Rock/Funk

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Nina & The Buffalo Riders

Psychedelic Bluesy Soul Rock

8:00 to 9:15 p.m.

AwesomeR

Rock & Roll

9:45 to 11:00 p.m.

SKYrise

Top 40s/House/Hip Hop

Sunday, Jan. 22

11:30 to 12:15 p.m.

DownRiver Dan

Blues/Rock

12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

The 3rd Degree Burn

Rock

2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

The Native Howl

Thrash Grass

3:45 to 4:45 p.m.  

Madelyn Grant

R&B

5:15 to 6:15 p.m.

Acoustic Madness

Acoustic Rock

6:45 to 8:00 p.m. 

The Reefermen

Rock & Soul

 DTE Energy Family Stage  

Friday, Jan. 20

4:45 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

5:45 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

6:30 p.m.

Detroit Pistons

7 p.m.

Cool Tricks & Funny Stuff

7:30 p.m.

Punch & Judy Puppet Show

Saturday, Jan. 21

12:00 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

1:15 p.m.

Cool Tricks & Funny Stuff

2:00 p.m. 

Warner Brothers Character Meet & Greet

2:30 p.m.

Detroit Pistons Dance Team Performance and Photos

3:00 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

4:00 p.m.

Warner Brothers Character Meet & Greet

4:30 p.m.

Detroit Red Wings Legend Manny Legace

5:45 p.m.

Randyl Lee Magic

6:15 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

7:00 p.m.

Rosco the Clown

7:30 p.m.

Kevin Devine Music Concert

Sunday, Jan. 22

12:00 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

1:15 p.m.

Detroit Pistons Legend – Rick Mahorn

2:00 p.m.

Warner Brothers Character Meet & Greet

2:30 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

3:00 p.m.

Detroit Red Wings Legend Jason Woolley

4:00 p.m.

Warner Brothers Character Meet & Greet

4:30 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center

5:15 p.m.

Juggling with Tim Salisbury

5:45 p.m.

Frostology by Michigan Science Center 

DTE Energy Acoustic Stage  

Friday, Jan. 20

8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Cayenne & Ginger

Singer/Songwriter

10:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Maticic

Singer/Songwriter

Saturday, Jan. 21

8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Keynote Sisters

Singer/Songwriter

10:00 to 11:00 p.m. 

Rosemont

Singer/Songwriter

 Bedrock Ice Bar Stage 

Friday, Jan. 20

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.

DJ Thornstryker

Techno 

Saturday, Jan. 21

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.

DJ Ryan Richards

Techno

2017 MERIDIAN WINTER BLAST RESTAURANT AND FOOD TRUCK MENUS

Beans & Cornbread

  • BBQ style rib tips
  • Fried chicken drummettes
  • Southern catfish fingers
  • B&C’s mac & cheese
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Old-fashioned peach cobbler

Bigalora

  • Pepperoni Pizza – House blend mozzarella, oregano
  • Funghi Pizza – Olive oil, garlic, no tomato sauce, house blend mozzarella, mushroom ragu, goat cheese, thyme
  • Bacco Sausage – House blend mozzarella, roasted onion, hot peppers, house made sausage
  • Margherita – Fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil
  • Gelato – Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry 

Buffy’s Mexi-casian Grill

  • Soup
  • Tacos
  • Nacho Fries 
  • Chimichangas
  • Quesadillas
  • Burgers  

Famous Dave’s

  • Georgia Chopped Pork Slidershopped pork sliders
  • Hot Link sausage
  • Dave’s jalapeno mac & cheese
  • Dave’s famous chili 

Hero or Villain Deli

Heroes:

  • Mega Man – (B.L.T) Bacon on top of red tomatoes, romaine lettuce with mayo on grilled sourdough bread; add a rush (fried egg) or flame sword (mild peppers) for extra charge.
  • Hawkeye – Turkey, Swiss, and sauerkraut and pickles with Thousand Island dressing on grilled marble rye bread
  • Captain Planet – Sautéed portabellas and caramelized onions, roasted red pepper, mozzarella with pesto aioli on a hoagie
  • Mario – Sweet capicola, salami, mozzarella, roasted red pepper, oregano, oil and vinegar on a hoagie 

Villains:

  • Sinister – Yellow cheddar, mozzarella, herbed goat cheese, caramelized onion, arugula, whole grain mustard on grilled rye bread
  • Kingpin – Grilled deli chicken, mozzarella, our pesto aioli, spinach and tomatoes on sourdough bread
  • Dark Phoenix –Grilled deli turkey, mozzarella, Riddler kale slaw with mayo on grilled rye. *Extras: avocado, bacon, gluten-free bread
  • ChewySeasoned waffle fries
  • Vegan chili
  • Butternut squash 

Lazybones Smokehouse

BBQ Plates – All plates come with mac & cheese, ranch fries and honey-buttered cornbread

  • Carolina Pulled Pork
  • Smoked Turkey
  • Texas Beef Brisket

BBQ Sandwiches – All served on fresh bakery rolls

  • Albuquerque Turkey – Smoked turkey, black bean hummus, pepper jack cheese, and fried avocado
  • Piggy Mac Melt – Pulled pork, bacon, mac and cheese, and cheddar cheese
  • Beef & CheddarTexas beef brisket, cheddar cheese, caramelized onion spread, and fried onion

And more

  • Pig Fries – Breasted ranch fries smothered with smokehouse chili, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, fried onions (topped with pulled pork and our original BBQ sauce)
  • BBQ Egg Roll – Chopped burnt ends, bacon, sausage, cheddar cheese, fried onions, wrapped in a crispy egg roll wrapper
  • Sides – Cup of mac & cheese, cup of ranch fries, brisket chili, garlic parmesan fries, honey buttered cornbread
  • Sweets – Pig candy, pig candy brownie, peach cobbler, banana pudding
  • Sauces – Honey sriracha, candied apple, LazyBone Suckin’

Mac Shack

  • Shack Made Mac – Classic five cheese blend mac n’ cheese
  • Bacon Made Me Do It – Applewood smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes, green onions
  • Cluck like a Buffalo – Buffalo chicken, crumbled bleu cheese, green onions, buffalo sauce

Matt & Mo’s

  • Chicago-Style Italian Beef Sandwich – Thin slices of seasoned roast beef, dripping with meat juices, on a dense, long Italian-style roll, bread dipped (or double dipped) into the juices the meat is cooked in and the sandwich is topped off with Chicago-style Giardiniera (hot) and/or sautéed green peppers (sweet); provolone cheese additional charge (signature item)
  • Grilled Caprese Sandwich on Garlic French Bread – Fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and pesto drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar
  • William’s Sharp Cheddar Fries – Natural cut fries with delicious William’s Sharp Cheddar Cheese sauce
  • Sweet Sriracha 1000 Fries – Sriracha hot sauce, Thousand Island dressing, topped with fresh green onion
  • William’s Horseradish Cheddar Fries – Natural cut fries with William’s Horseradish Cheddar Sauce
  • Toasted Ravioli – Golden brown, pillows of paradise with a side of marinara

The Nosh Pit

  • Mafe – African peanut stew,  classic lentil chili, and also an Israeli spicy chunky tomato soup called Shakshuka
  • “Jonah” Sandwich – Grilled cheese with homemade organic banana jam and smoky mushrooms with either Kosher NY cheddar or Follow Your Heart vegan provolone cheese
  • “Karen” – Grilled cheese with roasted red peppers, pesto and our house aioli (our most popular sandwich) with either the cheddar or vegan Provolone
  • “Denise” – Sloppy joe sandwich is a lentil and red bean sandwich with mustard powder, vegan Worcestershire sauce, organic tomatoes, and other warm flavors served on an Avalon Bakery bun and topped with Better Made wavy chips
  • Kaz Burger – A chickpea black bean and peanut patty with some slow heat from poblano peppers
  • Fresh Layered Salad – Lentils, award winning hummus, dark greens, red peppers, roasted yellow beets and topped with two dressings
  • Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
  • Coconut Macaroons 

Red Crown

  • Brisket Chili 

Shredderz

  • Steak N’ Bacon Shredder – Shredded steak, bacon, caramelized onions, cheese, Shredderz crispy hash browns. Served in a brioche sub bun
  • Chicken Shredder – Lemon herb chicken, cheese, sour cream, tomato. Shredderz crispy hash browns. Served on a brioche sub bun
  • Veggie Shreeder – Broccoli, beets, red cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes – all cooked in a balsamic reduction on top of a pile of deep fried Brussel sprouts. Topped with Shredderz crispy hash browns and served on a brioche sub bun
  • Build Your Own Breakfast (BYOB) – A bed of Shredderz crispy hash browns topped with an egg, three toppings of choice, and meat of choice
  • Chorizo Burrito – Chorizo, pico de Gallo, sour cream, jalapeno, house made cheese sauce, Shredderz crispy hash brown, wrapped in a garlic herb tortilla 

Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine

  • Steak Tortilla Soup – Chile de Arbol & lime queso fresco, oven roasted hominy
  • Mushroom Strudel – Sautéed mushrooms & garlic, saba syrup
  • Braised Boneless Short Ribs – Celeriac puree, fried Brussels sprouts, balsamic braising jus
  • Fish & Chips – Tempura fried perch w/ house cut truffle fries, cider slaw & malt tartar sauce
  • Root Beer Braised Pork Belly Pop Over – Fried egg & honey-onion jam
  • Spiced Apple Empanada – Apple cider glaze, maple anglaise, crushed spiced pecans 

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