3rd annual ‘Fire & Ice Fest’ Heats Up Winter Fun With a Blast of Outdoor Activities

Oakland County and downtown Rochester have teamed up to celebrate winter and many of its most popular activities in the 3rd annual Fire & Ice Fest.

The two-day outdoor festival, which runs Friday from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday from Noon-9 p.m., turns downtown Rochester into a winter festival that include ice, fireworks and family fun.

“We’ve put together a program that is a true celebration of winter,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “You can learn to snow shoe, take a ride down the tube sledding hill, go on a horse drawn carriage or dog sled ride or enjoy more than 30 unique ice carvings. We live in a state that embraces winter and I hope everyone takes advantage of it. And based on the first two years, the fireworks each night will be spectacular.”

Among the highlights of this year’s Fire & Ice a 250-foot tube sledding hill down East Third Street, the return of The Big, Bright Light Show on Main Street and a TasteFest/beer tent near Water Street. The unique ice carvings are based on zoo animals.

This family event is presented by Oakland County, Oakland County Parks, the Rochester Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and City of Rochester. Recreation includes ice skating rink (bring your own skates), dog sled demonstrations and ride. The activities are free of charge and weather permitting.

“It’s a great winter recreation event for family and friends to enjoy the outdoors,” Oakland County Parks programming supervisor Laurie Stasiak said. “We’ve got something for everyone and all activities are free. The Oakland County Parks ‘Go! Snowshoe’ mobile unit will be on site, complete with snowshoes to fit all sizes, so even little ones in the family can join in the sport.”

Patterson and Rochester Mayor Pro Tem Stuart Bikson will officially open the event Friday at 7:50 p.m. A spectacular fireworks display sponsored by 1st Choice Home Improvement will follow the opening ceremonies on Friday and the closing ceremonies on Saturday near the corner of East Third and Water Streets, at about 8 p.m. each night.

The Oakland County Credit Union TasteFest includes offerings from: Bean & Leaf Café; Gus O’Connor’s Public House; Mind, Body & Spirits; the Royal Park Hotel and Rochester Mills Beer Co., which also will provide beer for the event. An ice carving demonstration is set for Friday evening behind the Rochester Mills Beer Co. and Saturday afternoon at the corner of East Third and Main.

“This event continues to evolve each year,” said Stacey Keast, Rochester DDA events coordinator. “It has become a true community favorite and we are thrilled to work with both Oakland County and Oakland County Parks to host the event.”

For event details, visit www.DestinationOakland.com.


Friday, Jan. 29

6-9 p.m.
    Winter Zoobilee! Ice Sculpture Show – Main Street
    Shopping Spectacular
    Marshmallow-Roasting
    Ice Skating – Bring Your Own Skates!
    TasteFest & Beer Tent
    Tube Sledding Run
    Ice Carving Demonstration
    Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides
    RAYA Spaghetti Dinner
    Big, Bright Trolley Tours
6 p.m. – Midnight
    The Big, Bright Light Show – Main Street
7:50-8 p.m.
    Opening Ceremony – Water Street stage
8 p.m.
    Fireworks
9 p.m.
    TasteFest Closes

Saturday, Jan. 30

Noon-9 p.m.
    Winter Zoobilee! Ice Sculpture Show – Main Street
    Marshmallow-Roasting
    Ice Skating – Bring Your Own Skates!
    TasteFest & Beer Tent
Noon-6 p.m.
    Dogsled Demos and Rides (Clinics 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
    Snow Shoeing
    Snowmen & Snow Angels
    Geo-Cache Scavenger Hunt
1-4 p.m.
    Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides
    Ice-Carving Demonstration
3-4 p.m.
    Broomball Demonstration
4-8 p.m.
    RAYA Spaghetti Dinner
6-9 p.m.
    Big, Bright Trolley Tours
6 p.m.-Midnight
    The Big, Bright Light Show – Main Street
7:50-8 p.m.

    Closing Ceremony – Water Street Stage
8 p.m.
    Fireworks
9 p.m.
    TasteFest Closes and Event Ends

The Fire & Ice Fest is sponsored by Oakland County, Oakland County Parks, the Rochester Downtown Development Authority, City of Rochester, 1st Choice Home Improvement, Oakland County Credit Union, Genisys Credit Union, Shelton Pontiac, Buick, GMC; The PrivateBank, Rochester Mills Beer Co., Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union and Onyx Ice Arena.