The 2016 record was shattered. A projected 90,000 people were downtown for the 2017 Meridian Winter Blast, more than twice the previous year’s attendance.
While that number includes 15,000 people from the North American International Auto Show, who received free admission courtesy of Bedrock Detroit, there’s another story is of giving to those less fortunate. The charity collection set a new record with 19,500 pounds of food for Matrix Human Services, all of which will be shipped out to those in need throughout the winter.
“We want to thank everyone who came to the festival and donated food items for admission,” says Brad Coulter, president of Matrix Human Services. “This will stock an entire storeroom and provide food for those in need in the area. We are so proud to be part of a festival that gives back to the community in a big way.”
Other records were set at the Winter Blast.
The redesigned Meridian Slide proved to be a good idea. More riders took advantage of it this year than each of the previous four. The MetroPCS Zip Line Adventure also set a new record. It had the highest number of “riders in the sky” since its debut three years ago.
“I am thrilled that this year’s festival went off smoothly and we saw our best attendance since we started with our small admission fee eight years ago,” says Jon Witz, festival producer. “A big thank you to our partners who help make this possible. We brought thousands of people into the city to experience its greatness and take home memorable experiences.”
To be fair, the unseasonably warm weather may have encouraged people to venture out, but the festival also adapted to the variation. Strolling performers, pony rides, and a petting zoo were all added to take advantage of the break in temperature.
The warm weather didn’t dampen anyone’s love of marshmallows, either. There were more marshmallow kits sales sold this year than in each of the previous ten.
We were ready for the soul-crushing winter, but Detroit is flexible. Warm weather only made the Meridian Winter Blast better.