Friday, February 8, 2008

Detroit Winter Blast Tonight!

UPDATE: (this text appeared at Michigan Messenger Sunday, February 10)
The Winter Blast festival in downtown Detroit brings people together for play at Campus Martius Park just in the nick of time.

The renewal of our lives comes in the doing of small things, not pondering our smallness among enormous things. And that is why Detroit Winter Blast is so important. The collective effort of several dozen sponsors, Winter Blast comforts Michiganders in our bleak midwinter. After weeks of a flat gray sky, days of city scandal, months of economic stagnation, the festival lifts people in little, life-saving ways.

Friday night, in toasty music-filled tents, homeless folks warmed themselves alongside the well-heeled. Working-class and white-collar together drank beer after a long work week and listened to a tight three-man blues band. Outside, wood-stoked fires drew revelers roasting marshmallows and watching skaters.

On a rink under colorful and shifting lights, nimble and tipsy, alone and together, people skated to soul, rock, Motown and R&B. A swirl of Detroit's diversity -- young girls in head scarves, boys in baggy everything, men in NASCAR jackets, a woman wrapped in a crocheted afghan, little ones overstuffed in snowsuits -- circled in haphazard accord on the ice.

In the distance, shrieks of joyful terror from the snow slide and a musher's calls to her sled dogs.

The three-day festival of skating, snowshoeing, food, music, and sled dogs concluded Sunday.


After days of no sun, weeks of a text message scandal, months of economic slump, you can get relief at the Detroit Winter Blast. Live music, skating, great food, bon fires, a snow slide, sled dogs, and more. Go and enjoy.