The Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Rochester will be the inaugural event to commemorate Oakland County’s bicentennial year, County Executive David Coulter announced Jan. 6. The fireworks pre-show will honor Oakland County’s 200 years and the event stage will have a bicentennial ice sculpture.
“We can’t think of a better way to kick off celebrating Oakland County’s 200th year than with the Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Rochester,” Coulter said. “We welcome everyone to attend our free winter festival to take part in the winter fun.”
Oakland County’s actual 200th birthday is March 28. A birthday celebration is in the planning stages as well as other events throughout the year. Check oakgov.com/bicentennial for additional details as they emerge.
The Fire & Ice Festival is set for Jan. 17-19 and is among the premier winter events in Michigan. There is no charge for any of the winter activities, which include dog sled rides, a tube sledding hill, ice skating, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, ice carvings, face painting, marshmallow roasting, food trucks and a taste fest/beer tent. For detailed event schedules and more information, go to OakGov.com/FireAndIce or Facebook.com/FireAndIceRochester.
Returning this year is a collegiate ice-carving competition, which begins Saturday morning. Oakland Community College and Macomb Community College are among those expected to compete in the competition, which is sponsored by Consumers Energy.
The Big, Bright Light Show illuminates downtown Rochester each night in a glorious rainbow of colors.
A spectacular fireworks display lights up the sky Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and the seventh running of The Brooksie Way “Chill at the Mills” 5k race happens Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Registration is available at thebrooksieway.com. The race typically attracts more than 700 participants.
The Rochester Fire Department will host spaghetti dinners on Friday and Saturday night and a pancake breakfast Sunday morning to support Rochester Area Youth Assistance.
The Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center will have a tent where festivalgoers may adopt dogs or renew or purchase dog licenses.
The Fire & Ice Festival runs from 5 – 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18; and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19. The fireworks are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The festival site is at East Second and Mill streets in downtown Rochester. Parking is available at Buffalo Wild Wings at 1234 Walton in Rochester. There will be a free shuttle running between the restaurant and the festival.
County Executive Dave Coulter, the Fire & Ice Festival Committee, Oakland County, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the city of Rochester and Downtown Rochester thank this year’s presenting sponsor Vibe Credit Union; fireworks sponsors Hour Media and Soave Enterprises; major sponsors Rochester Mills Beer Co., Russ Shelton Buick GMC and Consumers Energy; and supporting sponsors Buffalo Wild Wings, Byers Wrecker Service, Heat Treating Services Corporation of America, Premier Pet Supply, Renewal by Andersen and Rock Solid Exteriors.