The 2016 Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Rochester drew record-breaking crowds with over 50,000 attendees last weekend. The ice carving competition, ice tree, and outdoor activities kept attendees entertained all weekend. 177 volunteers from the Oakland County Parks and Recreation department helped the festival run smoothly, and provided many entertaining activities.
In the evening, visitors enjoyed the Big Bright Light Show, fireworks and entertainment. During the day the sledding hill and snow mountain were a hit for kids! Families enjoyed ice skating, dog sledding, face painting, and a broomball tournament. The food and beverages were good as always-especially the hot cocoa, and the food trucks were a warm welcome to the chilly festival.
This year 830 Chill at the Mills 5K runners braved the cold to run through Rochester; a record of 200 more racers than last year. Shane Logan, a two-time winner of The HealthPlus Brooksie Way Half Marathon, was this years’ champion. Runners can find race results and photos on the Brooksie Way website.
In addition to the ice carvings lining main street, this year featured an exciting ice carving competition. James Seeterlin from Oakland Community College (OCC) took first place in the Ice Carving competition with Matt Larsen from OCC in second place, and Alex Wagner from Macomb Community College in third place.
New to the festival, a one-of-a-kind ice tree was created for visitors to enjoy. The tree was made with a Tipi style wood frame. The inside of the frame was filled with recycled Christmas trees from the Oakland County Parks tree recycling program. A small spray nozzle was made to shower the structure with water slowly over multiple days to cover it in ice. The slow spray of water created the final look of the tree. The tree was then lit at night with four blue flood lights.
Thank you to the sponsors who made this event better than ever! Presenting Sponsor Oakland County Credit Union, Major Sponsors Hour Detroit, Soave Enterprises, Shelton Buick GMC, Rochester Mills Beer Co., and the Royal Park Hotel. Thank you to supporting sponsors: Buffalo Wild Wings, Byer’s Wrecking, Eugenia’s 3rd Street Hair Gallery, Green Electrical Supply, and Tyler Dumas Reyes Orthodontics.
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