DETROIT (WWJ) – The Meridian Winter Blast is set to kickoff this weekend in Downtown Detroit and organizers hope to provide some relief from the winter blues and cabin fever.

Celebrating 10 years as Detroit’s premier winter festival — this year’s event is presented by Quicken Loans and will feature live entertainment, cuisine from local food outlets and signature winter activities.

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The event will include activities such as free ice skating, a hockey shot competition, skating demos, and lighted ice sculptures including characters from the upcoming “Lego” movie. In addition to any natural snow — special snow cannons will ensure winter conditions will be ideal. Attendees can enjoy snowshoeing, dog sledding and musical performances by the Killer Flamingos, Jazz legend Thornetta Davis and numerous others.

Matthew Enders of Meridian Health Plan, sponsor for the event, says that this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than before. “Let’s celebrate the Polar Vortex,” Enders said. “There will be various tents, warming stations with hot chocolate every 150 feet and marshmallow roasting pits outside.”

Returning is the three-lane Buick Snow Slide, towering more than 30 feet high and 200 feet long, delivering a thrilling seven seconds of fun. Enders pointed out that the traditional attraction will be more massive than normal, due to the record-breaking snow fall this winter.

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Other returning activities include the Winter Blast Off that will showcase a fire and ice show and the Radio Disney kids’ display, located on the Meijer Stage inside the Compuware building.

If residents are concerned about the weather conditions, Dr. Marcella Wilson of Matrix Human Services says that the physical activities should provide plenty of body heat outside. “Visitors should be plenty warm, keeping active with the slide and the snowshoeing,” Wilson said.

The event will run from Friday, Feb. 7 –Sunday, Feb. 9. Friday and Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Admission is $2 and visitors are encouraged to bring three canned goods/non-perishable items or a children’s book. Organizers aim to continue the festival’s commitment to fighting hunger in metro Detroit and to fostering literacy.