Rouge Park's Winterfest on January 28th was a resounding success despite the challenging weather conditions. With DJ GRNNPA RU setting the mood with excellent music, 81 attendees braved the wet, snowy, and muddy conditions to join in the festivities.
Attendees were treated to a variety of complimentary delights, including free hot cocoa and s'mores, as well as chili and egg rolls. Children had the opportunity to meet Smokey the Bear and learn about the forest, while the Belle Isle Nature Center engaged them with fun activities focused on animal tracks.
Generous contributions from various organizations added to the event's warmth and charm. National Heritage Academies provided free mittens and hot cocoa packets, while the Friends of Rouge Park offered a giveaway table featuring mugs, beanies, and Winterfest 2024 posters. The Detroit Zoo showcased exciting activities and distributed freebies, while SOS Outreach served hot cocoa, s'mores, and volunteered throughout the event.
Detroit Outdoors manned the bonfires, adding to the cozy atmosphere, and kids enjoyed a range of activities including giant Connect 4, fowling, and cornhole toss. The Huron-Clinton Metroparks wowed attendees with their mobile wildlife van, and the Motown Lacrosse Club showcased the sport with a competitive demonstration.
Acknowledgments were extended to the City of Detroit and its workers for their efforts in setting up the event amidst challenging weather conditions. The Chandler Park Conservancy's support was appreciated, as well as the contributions of all partners who made the Winterfest memorable.
Special activities led by the Black to the Land Coalition, Belle Isle Nature Center, and SOS Outreach included a walk to educate attendees about Rouge Park's trees, flood plain, and its relationship with the Rouge River, adding an educational element to the festivities.
In closing, a heartfelt thank you goes out to all who attended Rouge Park's Winterfest, braving the elements to make the event a success. Your enthusiasm and support truly made the day special. We look forward to seeing you again next year for another fantastic Winterfest!