2019 Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends in Downtown Detroit: What you need to know

Thornetta Davis and Laith Al-Saadi headline


DETROIT – Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends returns Friday to Detroit's Campus Martius Park for the 14th year.

RELATED: Have a blast at Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends

The first weekend will run Saturday through Monday, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and all other weekends are Friday through Sunday. 

This year, the festival will cover four weekends, taking place Friday, Jan. 19 through Mon, Jan. 21, Jan. 25 through Jan 27, Feb. 8 through Feb. 10 and Feb. 15 through Feb. 17.

For added convenience, Woodward Avenue will remain open during festival weekends, with the opportunity for patrons to take the QLINE to the event, or to visit Midtown and New Center following the festival.

Musical entertainment

Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, Thornetta Davis, and Laith Al-Saadi, electric blues/soul/rock ‘n’ roller and season 10 finalist on the popular television show “The Voice,” will be headliners on the Michigan Lottery Stage alongside artists representing electronica, pop, blues, soul, rock ‘n’ roll and more. 

Movement Music Festival presents DJ Ryan Richards, the Paddlebots, and Black Note Graffiti will kick off an electrifying opening weekend on Saturday, followed by Thornetta Davis and Half Light Music on Sunday. 

Christina Chriss and Joey Fava, of Kaleido, will give an acoustic performance Monday before Alise King rounds out the music festivities for the opening weekend. 

The following weekend, Jan. 25-27, will be filled with a wide-ranging selection of artists, including Laith Al-Saadi, The Gasoline Gypsies, The Roadwork Crew, Emma Guzman and more. 

The third and fourth Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends will feature performances by up-and-coming and local talent, including Acoustic Ash, Dragon Wagon, The Ruiners, Joe Jaber and The Last Divide and Movement Music Festival presents DJ Gary Chandler. Also performing are Over The Sun -- formerly The Wall Clocks, Rev. Marc Falconberry, Larry Lee and the Back in the Day Band and Ali McManus, to close out the celebration of winter.

Themed weekends with new attractions

Cadillac Square will be home to two themed weekends this year, conceptualized by Groundswell Design Group, which will test visitors’ sports skills and penchant for summer fun. 

‘Winter Sports Weekend’, Jan. 19-21, taps into favorite winter memories of yore with an emphasis on cold weather fun. Festivalgoers will compete in hockey-inspired slapshot games and winter-themed cornhole, complete with “snowballs” for tossing.

Other activities, such as Box Hockey and Snowball Darts, will be available. Vintage hockey cards and backdrops featuring sports figures will be on display throughout the festival, too. Indoor games will include a range of time-tested favorites, such as Don’t Break the Ice and Lincoln Logs.

‘A Weekend at the Beach’, Feb. 15-17, is designed to break up the gray days of winter with pops of color offering festivalgoers activities traditionally enjoyed under the sun. Activities such as Flamingo Ring Toss, ladderball, portable badminton, as well as tiki and beach décor, will have visitors thinking summertime in the city. “Limbo” interactive photo moments and more will be available throughout the festival.

Games such as giant wooden dominoes and Tiki Topple, as well as classic chess and checkers, will keep the summery feeling alive for those who prefer to stay indoors. 

Winter fun continues

Winter Blast activities will be divided among the four different weekends, with many activities appearing during all Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends.

Admission each weekend is free. 

The Winter Slide will be free this year, courtesy of sponsor Metro by T-Mobile. 

The popular four-lane, 30-foot high Metro by T-Mobile Winter Slide makes its comeback this year on the third festival weekend presented by Delta Dental, Feb. 8-10, whisking riders through a dark tube at up to 20 mph and dropping them at a 40-degree angle. There is also a 30-degree drop slide for children and those who like their adventure at a gentler pace.

There will be something different to see and do every weekend, such as ice skating, ice sculptures presented by US Ice, marshmallow roasting, buskers (strolling street entertainers) presented by DTE Energy Foundation, food trucks, family activities and live music. 

The Downtown Detroit Markets’ vendors also will be extending their stay through Winter Blast Weekends. Festivalgoers can visit more than a dozen local entrepreneurs in Cadillac Square and Capitol Park to shop a wide array of products, including artwork, body care, clothing, sweet treats and home goods. 

A complete schedule of activities can be found by visiting WinterBlast.com.

Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends music lineup:

Weekend  1
Saturday, Jan. 19

6:00 - 7:15 P.m. Paddlebots (Progressive Soul-pop)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. Black Note Graffiti (Rock/alternative)
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Movement Music Festival Presents Dj Ryan Richards (Electronic)

Sunday, Jan. 20

6:00 - 7:00 P.m. Half Light Music (Alternative Rock)
7:30 - 9:00 P.m. Thornetta Davis (Funky Rockin’ Soul Blues)

Monday, Jan. 21

6:00 - 6:45 P.m. Christina Chriss & Joey Fava Of Kaleido (Acoustic)
7:10 - 8:00 P.m. Alise King (R&b Soul)

Weekend  2
Friday, Jan. 25

4:30 - 5:30 P.m. Violet Soul (Pop/funk)
6:00 - 7:15 P.m. Maiyana Davis (Blues Rock)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. The Gasoline Gypsies (Original Rock)
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Paulina Jayne (Country/rock)

Saturday, Jan. 26

6:00 - 7:15 P.m. Downriver Dan & The Billies (Blues Rock)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. The Roadwork Crew (R&b/funk)
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Laith Al Saadi (Soulful Rock & Blues)

Sunday, Jan. 27

6:00 - 6:45 P.m. Emma Guzman (Singer-songwriter/americana)
7:10 - 8:00 P.m. Nick Piunti & The Complicated Men (Rock)

Weekend  3
Friday, Feb. 8

4:30 - 5:30 P.m. Acoustic Ash (Singer/songwriter)
6:00 - 7:15 P.m. Tomorrow The World (Rock/alternative)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. Yvette Meadows (Jazz/r&b)
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Dragon Wagon (Americana/bluegrass)

Saturday, Feb. 9

6:00 - 7:15 P.m. The Ruiners (Punk/garage/rockabilly)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. Liquid Monk (Electronic, Dance)
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Movement Music Festival Presents Dj Gary Chandler (Electronic)

Sunday, Feb. 10

6:00 - 6:45 P.m. Church Mice (Alt Rock/rock Americana)
7:10 - 8:00 P.m. Joe Jaber And The Last Divide (Americana, Rock)

Weekend  4
Friday, Feb. 15

4:30 - 5:30 P.m. Sami Mei (Pop)
6:00 - 7:15 P.m. Over The Sun (Formerly The Wall Clocks) (Brit Rock)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. J Canady & The Soulnyce Band (Funk/soul/jazz)
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Roots Vibrations (Reggae/soca)

Saturday, Feb. 16

6:00 - 7:15 P.m. Cold Tone Harvest (Americana/alt-country)
7:45 - 9:00 P.m. Rev Marc Falconberry (Blues)  
9:30 - 11:00 P.m. Larry Lee And The Back In The Day Band (Funk/r&b)

Sunday, Feb. 17

6:00 - 6:45 P.m. Keynote Sisters (Acoustic Variety)
7:10 - 8:00 P.m. Ali Mcmanus (Soft Rock/pop)

Food Truck Rally Lineup

Weekend  1, Jan. 19 – 21

  • Beans & Cornbread
  • Taste Of Nawlins
  • Chick-a-d
  • Fortune Cooking
  • Imperial Ferndale

Weekend  2, Jan. 25 – 27

  • Hero Or Villain
  • The Nosh Pit
  • Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine

Weekend  3, Feb. 8 – 10

  • Beans & Cornbread
  • Bigalora
  • Hero Or Villain
  • Buffy's Mexi-casian Grill
  • The Nosh Pit
  • Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine

Weekend  4, Feb. 15 – 17

  • Imperial Ferndale
  • Chick A D
  • The Monkey Truck