By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The Meridian Winter Blast will reach new heights this weekend as the popular event adds zip line over Campus Martius.

The new zip line runs 300 feet down Woodward Ave. from a height of 35 feet at Gratiot Ave., and gradually lowers to ground level at Campus Martius.

The zip line joins children’s activities from the Michigan Science Center, free coffee and hot chocolate as new activities this year at Detroit’s premier winter event.

“You see a lot of events in the summer time and this is one of the truly only unique, large-scale winter events that take place in the region,” said Jon Witz, event producer.

The event also includes a snow slide, snow shoeing, ice skating, ice carving, marshmallow roasting and professional skating demonstrations. For those who don’t choose the speed of the zip line, the 30-foot tall, 200-foot long ride snow slide returns to the event.

Festival-goers will also be able to warm in large tents, around campfires and with free Tim Hortons coffee and hot chocolate.

More than 50 entertainment acts will perform on three stages throughout the Campus Martius, and for those looking for meals, there will be a Taste of Detroit food and vendor booths on the grounds.

The Meridan Winter Blast is one of the lasting legacies of Super Bowl XL. The event began in Jan. 2005 as an official countdown to the big game.

“When so many people came out for a trial run without the big game sent the message to everybody that this was worth continuing,” Witz said.

Organizers expect nearly 100,000 people to the event.

The Winter Blast is open until 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday. Admission is three canned food items, one children’s book
or $2 that will be donated to those in need.

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