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Detroit Winter Blast To Go On Despite Money Woes

Of the Oakland Press

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Despite fears of being curtailed by budget shortfalls, Detroit's Winter Blast will be held for a fourth consecutive year, from Feb. 8-10 in and around the city’s Campus Martius Park.

But Winter Blast producer Jon Witz, who also helms the Labor Day weekend Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Pontiac, said at a news conference Tuesday (Jan. 8) that the event still has not reached its sponsorship and fund-raising goals and is continuing to look for more money.

This year’s Winter Blast will feature familiar attractions — such as the 200-foot snow slide, dogsledding, snowshoeing, ice sculptures, booths manned by 60 restaurants and areas promoting Michigan tourism.

A new Winter Blast Film Festival will feature works by Michigan filmmakers and also about Michigan. Films already chosen include “Kick Out the Jams,” Leni Sinclair’s documentary about the MC5; “Encore on Woodward,” about the restoration of the Fox Theatre; “Radio Revolution,” about the history of Windsor’s CKLW-AM; and “Twenty to Life,” about Detroit poet and raconteur John Sinclair.

This year's Winter Blast will also include two days of electronic music to preview Movement 08, the annual Memorial Day weekend festival in downtown Detroit.

Witz said more performers and activities will be announced later this month.

The 2006 Winter Blast drew more than 450,000 people.

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