Downtown Lansing's Frost Fest draws crowds

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The chilly weather in the air didn’t stop the fun in the downtown Lansing area last Saturday night — instead, it fueled it as visitors and residents celebrated the city’s third annual Frost Fest.

The outdoor festival, which took place Feb. 18 and was hosted by Downtown Lansing Inc., featured beer, live music and a close communal gathering, was held in a heated tent in the center of Lansing.

Bands featured at Frost Fest were Company of Thieves, Mike Mains and the Branches and Redbird. Other activities included a euchre tournament and opportunities to drink at the micro-brew beer tent.

About 800 people came to the event this year, an increase from years past, said Cathleen Edgerly, communications and marketing manager for Downtown Lansing Inc.

Edgerly said the event’s success this year was likely due to the popularity of the headlining band, Company of Thieves, as well as word of mouth as the tradition continues.

She said as years go by and more people find out about Frost Fest, the popularity and attendance the event sees likely will grow.

“It’s just something fun and different to do,” she said. “It’s a unique event for the middle of the winter.”

Frost Fest, as well as other events held in downtown Lansing, likely are helping promote downtown business and showing what the city can be for those both young and old, Michigan State University junior Allison Young said.

Young said Lansing, which in some areas is considered unsafe and unsuitable by visitors and residents, could benefit from positive and fun events like Frost Fest.

“It helps because Lansing kind of gets a bad rap because of the people and the crimes that happen — I think that it gives Lansing a good opportunity to promote growth and its health,” Young said.

Michigan State University sophomore Isabel Calder did not attend the event this year, but said she’d go in the future depending on the bands playing.

Calder said Lansing could benefit from having a different sort of act at next year’s Frost Fest or at other outdoor festivals, such as electronic music since that style of music continues to grow in popularity among college students especially.

“I don’t know if we have the space or resources, but that scene is getting increasingly popular,” Calder said.

Edgerly said in the future, she hopes the festival will attract more students from Michigan State University and other areas of town to bring young people into the area.

“As people get more acquainted with it, more and more people are getting excited about Frost Fest,” Edgerly said. “We look forward to another great year next year and hope to see more people come out, especially from the East Lansing community.”


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