Fire & Ice Festival moves across the street

The Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester, sponsored by Oakland County Credit Union, will move most of its winter activities from the open field at Third and Water streets to one at Second and Mill streets in downtown Rochester because of a construction project which has begun on the former site. The new location is where the dogsled rides and snowshoeing have always been. Tube sledding will remain at Third and Water. Admission is free to this family-friendly event which takes place Friday, Jan. 19 – Sunday, Jan. 21.

“The Fire & Ice Festival is one of Oakland County’s premier quality-of-life events which attracts tens of thousands of people each year,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “The festival may be moving across the road but everyone will be able to enjoy the same winter activities they always have.”

The Brooksie Way Chill at the Mills 5k race will also relocate its start/finish line this year due to the construction project. Runners will begin the race on Mill Street south of the Rochester Fire Department headquarters and finish the race on Water Street just south of Rochester Mills. Race registration remains open through race day which takes place at the festival Sunday, Jan. 21 at 9:30 a.m. To date, 450 runners have registered which puts the Chill at the Mills on pace to host about 1,500 participants. Oakland County Credit Union is also the race co-sponsor. To register, go to

Consumers Energy is the new sponsor for the Fire & Ice Festival college ice carving contest which returns for its third year on Saturday, Jan. 20. Students from a number of culinary arts programs in Southeast Michigan will carve beautiful sculptures out of blocks of ice in front of festival crowds with the hopes of grabbing top honors. The contest will enable some of the student ice sculptors to practice for the upcoming National Ice Carving Association (NICA) US Collegiate Championships in Frankenmuth the last weekend of January. The Fire & Ice Festival will announce the winner of its third ice carving contest on Saturday evening.

Rochester Fire & Ice Festival fans will also encounter their favorites including fireworks on Friday and Saturday night sponsored by Hour Detroit and Soave Real Estate Group; the Big, Bright Light Show; the TasteFest & Beer Tent; and dozens of ice sculptures lining Main Street. This year’s Main Street ice sculpture theme is game night. Festival goers will also enjoy tube sledding, ice skating (bring your own skates), snowshoeing, dogsled rides, cross country skiing, carriage rides, food trucks, face painting, ice carving demonstrations, and more. The food trucks will be located on Mill Street south of Second Street this year. A number of restaurants will have live entertainment this year.

“The City of Rochester is truly excited to host the 2018 Fire & Ice Festival; a celebration of Michigan’s winter activities,” Rochester Mayor Robert Ray said. “We would like to welcome everyone to come experience all that our city has to offer and share in this exciting family-friendly event. Most of all, I would like to thank our wonderful partners that help make it all possible.”

The Rochester Fire & Ice Festival welcomes back musical guest Jennifer Kincer & Friends who will perform live on stage Friday and Saturday night. In addition, the Rochester Fire Department will host spaghetti dinners Friday and Saturday night and a pancake breakfast Sunday morning to support Rochester Area Youth Assistance.

Families may once again go home with a new furry best friend. Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center will have a tent at the Fire & Ice Festival to adopt dogs and to renew or purchase dog licenses.

The Fire & Ice Festival runs from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20; 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21; and 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22. Fireworks are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The festival site is at East Water and Third streets in downtown Rochester. Parking is available in downtown Rochester or at Buffalo Wild Wings at 1234 Walton in Rochester. There will be a shuttle running between the restaurant and the festival. For detailed event schedules and more information, go to

The Fire & Ice Festival Committee, Oakland County, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the City of Rochester and Downtown Rochester would like to thank this year’s presenting sponsor Oakland County Credit Union; fireworks sponsors Hour Media and Soave Enterprises; major sponsors Rochester Mills Beer Co. and Consumers Energy; and supporting sponsors Blossom Collection of the Moceri Companies, Buffalo Wild Wings, Byers Wrecker Service, Green Electrical Supply, Heat Treating Services, and Premier Pet Supply.