DETROIT - Hockey fans rejoice - there's an event just for you in downtown Detroit.
The Coke Zero Fan Zone opens Friday with music, food, family entertainment and hockey-themed activities.
The five-day, 122,000-square-foot hockey fan event outside of Comerica Park December 27-31, will take place in conjunction with the 2013 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ inside Comerica Park -- leading up to the highly anticipated 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Michigan Stadium New Year's Day.
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The Coke Zero Fan Zone will be free to fans holding tickets to that day's hockey games at the Hockeytown Winter Festival.
Admission for non-ticketholders is $5 each day with tickets available for purchase at the entrance.
The event will span three heated tents with hockey-themed exhibits, interactive games and activities, autograph and photo opportunities and local music and food offerings.
Most activities including live entertainment and Alumni autographs are free.
SnowZilla toboggan runs are $2, skating on the synthetic ice rink is $2 ($5 with skate rental) and a $5 donation to the Detroit Red Wings Foundation will provide a photo opportunity with the Stanley Cup on December 30-31.
Coke Zero Fan Zone dates and times:
Fri., Dec. 27: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 28: 1 p.m. – 10 a.m.
Sun., Dec. 29: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 30: 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 31: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A total of 27 musical acts representing a variety of genres will entertain fans throughout the run of the Coke Zero Fan Zone appearing on two stages, one in the Molson Hockey House and the other in the Detroit Red Wings Experience.
Leading the way are pop favorites Killer Flamingos and pop-rocker Stewart Francke on December 27, polka-rock band Polish Muslims and rock/punk sensation Kaleido on December 28, blues/rocker Laith al Saadi and Canadian pop/rock singer-songwriter Jody Raffoul on December 29, veteran entertainers Persuasion and popular R&B/soul/blues singer Thornetta Davis on December 30, and funk band Big Pappa & The Machine and country music performer David Shelby on December 31.
Stanley Cup photos:
As hockey is a major theme of the Coke Zero Fan Zone, the sport's major prize – the Stanley Cup – will appear for photos with fans the final two days of the event on December 30-31.
Each of the two days, Phil Pritchard, known as the "Keeper of the Cup" will take to the Molson Hockey House Stage to share his stories and experiences with the Cup. On December 31, Pritchard will be joined by Red Wings Alumnus Chris Chelios. World-famous goalie mask painter David Arrigo will be painting Hockeytown Winter Festival-themed masks and a giant mural from inside the Detroit Red Wings Experience tent. In addition, fans will be able to participate in a variety of interactive hockey-themed activities including Bubble Hockey, Mini-Sticks and Hardest Shot, as well as competing on a full-size street hockey rink.
Other hockey-related activities perfect for photo opportunities include touring the Hockey Hall of Fame tent featuring all of the NHL trophies and visiting replica locker room set-ups of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.
Some of Detroit's area restaurants will be on-site offering a variety of well-rounded food offerings far from the realm of traditional hockey rink fare. The Palm Palace, offering chicken shwarma, ground lamb sandwiches and Mediterranean pizza pockets, will be situated in the Molson Hockey House. Fans can find the Jackson Five-Star kiosk, featuring Italian, Polish and pulled pork sandwiches along with Southern fried fish, in the Detroit Red Wings Experience tent. Vintage Catering, known for its amazing smoked turkey legs, and the Polish Village Café, showcasing their fresh take on traditional Polish dishes, can be found in the Hockey Hall of Fame tent.