One of the most exciting events on Rochester’s annual calendar is the Fire and Ice Festival. It’s seventh running will feature a new 5k winter road race, which compliments the popular Rochester Hills Brooksie way marathon held every October.
Being held the weekend of Jan. 24-26, this year’s event will include a pet adoption center, live ice carving demonstrations, dog sled rides, a tube sledding hill, ice skating, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, fireworks, ice carvings, marshmallow roasting and a taste festival.
The event, sponsored by Oakland County Parks, Downtown Rochester and several local businesses, is free and open to the public at large.
There are events for people of all ages, including a nightly fireworks display on Friday and Saturday near the corner of East Third and Water Streets. Because of the shorter winter days the fireworks will begin around 8 p.m. instead of the Fourth of July fireworks that have to wait until after 10 p.m.
Before each fireworks display the teen singing group, “By the Way” and the Big, Bright Light Show, a continuation of the Christmas lights on all downtown buildings along Main Street will run from 6 p.m. to midnight each day of the festival.
“Fire & Ice continues to improve every year,” Oakland County executive L. Brooks Paterson said. “Nearly 300 people have already signed up for the inaugural Brooksie Way ‘Chill at the Mills’ race. The dog sled rides and the tubing hill are very popular attractions. And if you haven’t seen fireworks in the winter, you’re in for a treat.”
Race registration is available at TheBrooksieWay.com.
Other events include:
- Dog sled rides are available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The pet adoption center adjacent to the Rochester Fire Hall.
- The TasteFest includes offerings from Chomp, Buffalo Wild Wings, Holy Cannoli’s, Ganbei, Main Street Deli and the Rochester Mills Beer Co.
- Live ice carvings are set for Friday at 6 p.m. at Rochester Mills Beer Co. and Saturday at East Third and Main Street at 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Recommended reading about Rochester and Rochester Hills
- “Rochester and Rochester Hills”, part of the “Images of America” series.
- “Rochester, Michigan Photographs”. Coffee table book with great pictures of Rochester.
- “Earth Eyes, Rochester Hills, Michigan”: surprising stories and hidden secrets.
- “A Pitch in Time”, the story of baseball in Rochester written by Robert Lytle, owner of Lytle Pharmacy.
- “Life’s Leadership Lessons”: 53 anecdotal leadership lessons mostly from people in the Detroit area.