Ford to host winter festival at Michigan Central Station during auto show – Crain's Detroit Business

Ford Motor Co. has planned a 10-day winter festival in front of Michigan Central Station to coincide with the Detroit auto show.

It’s the last North American International Auto Show to take place in the winter (it’s moving to June in 2020) and the first winter with Ford presiding over the mammoth Corktown train depot.

The Dearborn-based automaker will project regular 3-D light shows onto the building Jan. 18-27, paired with live music, food trucks, drink stations, ice carving and kids activities, according to a news release.

The Detroit Historical Society is also curating an exhibition of artifacts from the long-vacant depot, which saw its last train leave in 1988 after opening in late 1913.

The festival outside Michigan Central Station along Michigan Avenue kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18, the same night as the Charity Preview. It will run 5:30-10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, Jan. 20. From Monday to Thursday, and on Sunday, Jan. 27, it will end an hour earlier, at 9 p.m.

In its announcement, Ford calls the planned light show a combination of “advanced 3D projection-mapping technology and old-fashioned storytelling.” It will project onto the 18-story station three times an hour.

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The 2019 public show runs Jan. 19-27, with Ford participating. The automaker can call on the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the auto show each year (756,397 in 2018) to journey about two miles west and take in its widely regarded revitalization project.

Visitors can also take in the Quicken Loans Winter Blast, which expands to four weekends this year, including during the auto show.

Winter has also posed a challenge for Ford, which is working to weatherize and dry out the 105-year-old train station before it starts major work for a $350 million renovation. Michigan Central Station is the centerpiece of Ford’s planned 1.2 million-square-foot, mobility-focused campus in the Detroit neighborhood just west of downtown.

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