Fire and Ice Festival Comes Back with a Bang

(used with permission by Stephanie Hellebuyck)

(used with permission by Stephanie Hellebuyck)

Patters, left, is the news mascot of the Fire and Ice Festival. (used with permission by Stephanie Hellebuyck)

Patters, left, is the news mascot of the Fire and Ice Festival. (used with permission by Stephanie Hellebuyck)

by Tori Phelps

Last week, temperatures reached record lows and snowfall reached record highs. Winter is not done yet, though—more ice is to come.

Except this ice will be sculpted.

From Jan. 24 to Jan. 26, downtown Rochester will come alive during the seventh annual Fire and Ice Festival.

Many events will be offered over the weekend including tube sledding, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, ice skating, carriage riding, broom ball and, of course, ice sculpture and firework viewing. This year, the Brooksie Way’s Chill at the Mill five-mile run and a food truck rally are also offered.

The festival also has a new mascot—Patters the penguin—whose name was decided on by voters.

Events Coordinator Stephanie Hellebuyck, who helped arrange the festival, was excited about the newcomer.

“We actually named him Patters after L. Brooks Patterson,” she said.

Not everything about the event is as fun and cute as Patters, though. Drivers concerned about parking during the busy time are encouraged to use the free shuttle.

“The Buffalo Wild Wings in Rochester Hills is sponsoring a shuttle for the event,” Hellebuyck said. “Park at their location and get shuttled in to downtown Rochester.”

For details about hours, events, and volunteering, visit downtown Rochester’s website.

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