Preparations under way for Fire & Ice Festival


Set-up has begun for the 8th annual Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester which runs Friday, Jan. 23 – Sunday, Jan. 25. Crews are making snow, building the ice rink, and prepping for other activities such as dogsledding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and fireworks.

New this year, the Fire and Ice Committee has added artificial turf to the first 50 feet of the popular tubing runs in order to improve the start for tubers. It is the kind of artificial turf skiers and snowboarders use to practice during the summer months.

The festival also welcomes a new musical act Jennifer Kincer & Friends ( who will perform Friday and Saturday night.

“The Rochester Fire & Ice Festival is Oakland County’s premier winter quality of life event,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “We combine great outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy with good food and entertainment. The best part – there’s no admission charge.”

Returning for its second year is The Health Plus Brooksie Way’s Chill At The Mills 5k race on Sunday, Jan. 25. Start time is 9 a.m. Runners who register at before Thursday, Jan. 15 will receive a Chill at the Mills 5k long-sleeve t-shirt. Runners of all skill levels may otherwise register anytime including on site the morning of the race.
The Fire and Ice Committee also has put the call out for volunteers. Anyone who would like to help with the festival and have some free hot chocolate should go to

“Our event attracts thousands every year,” said J. David VanderVeen, Fire & Ice chairperson and director of central services for Oakland County. “We rely on hundreds of volunteers to make it the best winter festival in the area.”

Families may once again go home with a new furry best friend. Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center will have a tent at the Fire & Ice Festival to adopt dogs and to renew or purchase dog licenses.

Fire & Ice Festival fans will also encounter their favorites including the Big, Bright Light Show, the TasteFest & Beer Tent, and dozens of ice sculptures lining Main Street. The ice sculpture theme this year is kids’ toys. In addition, the Rochester Fire Department will host spaghetti dinners Friday and Saturday night and pancake breakfasts Saturday and Sunday morning to raise funds for Rochester Area Youth Assistance.

“Fire and ice is always a great family event to embrace winter and enjoy all that Rochester has to offer even in this season,” Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson said.

The Fire & Ice Festival goes from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24; and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. Fireworks are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The festival site is at East Water and Third streets in downtown Rochester. Parking is available in downtown Rochester or at Buffalo Wild Wings at 1234 Walton in Rochester. There will be a shuttle running between the restaurant and the festival. For more information, go to or

The Fire & Ice Festival Committee, Oakland County, Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the City of Rochester and Downtown Rochester would like to thank this year’s sponsors: Oakland County Credit Union, Hour Detroit, Soave Enterprise, Rochester Mills Beer Co., Shelton Buick GMC, Buffalo Wild Wings, Byers Wrecker Service, Green Electrical Supply, TDR Orthodontics, and Euginas Hair Salon.

Note to Media: Media are welcome to come out anytime over the week-and-a-half during set-up to preview the Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester. Those who would like an interview or to ensure there is set-up activity, please call Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048 or 248-202-9668.

The Fire & Ice Committee also invites media to do live or aslive reports from the festival. Those who would like to be out there Friday or Saturday evenings or Saturday or Sunday mornings, please contact Bill Mullan by Monday, Jan. 19 so he may coordinate guest appearances for you.

Please note the committee recommends a microwave truck site check prior to the festival. In the past, location and weather have impacted live signals. What worked one year didn’t necessarily work the next year.


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