(02/18/14) - Downtown Flint is about to freeze over - with a little man-made assistance. It's all part of a pair of snow-filled events coming up on Saturday.
"Oh, we're fired up. We're hoping the weather holds out for us and we'll have a great turnout like last year," said Gerard Burnash.
The second annual Fire and Ice Festival takes over a stretch of Saginaw Street, between Kearsley and First, and once again features free carriage rides and music. Close to 3,000 people turned out for the inaugural event.
"We have the ice carvers coming back, ice sculptures will be on site, fire dancers, fire performers. We'll have a chili cook-off going on again and some entertainment for the kids with turkey bowling. It'll be a lot of fun," Burnash said.
Unlike last year, the Downtown Development Authority won't have to scramble to round up some snow.
"This year, we have more than enough snow to handle our whole festival, and then some," Burnash said.
The Fire and Ice Festival is only the beginning. At 4 p.m. in downtown Flint, the Crim Festival of Races kicks off its first-ever winter-time race, the 'Run Your Ice Off 5K.'
"We are so excited. We have 350 people signed up. We had no idea this would be such a popular event," said Andy Younger, Crim Race director.
The Run Your Ice Off is the first leg of the Crim's new four-part Grass Roots Race Series. It begins and ends on UM-Flint's campus.
"We're going right around the Flint River trail, which is absolutely beautiful. I just love to play in the snow, and that's why we're doing this, to get people out in the snow and be active," Younger said.
Organizers plan to work up a sweat and generate a little heat at the finish line.
"People will hopefully be able to have some fun beforehand at the Fire and Ice Festival and they'll have a great time afterwards with some hot chocolate, music, and hopefully that'll keep them warm," Younger said.
For more on the Run Your Ice Off race, click HERE.
For more on the Fire and Ice Festival, click HERE.
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