Frostbite Saturday & Chili Crawl set for Saturday

Chelsea Harvey (left) and Jackie Gielczyk (right) co-chairs of the Frostbite Saturday & Chili Crawl show off the trophy that will be awarded to the top chili at Saturday's event. There will be 18 types of chili to sample at various locations on River and Division streets in the free event.

Chelsea Harvey (left) and Jackie Gielczyk (right) co-chairs of the Frostbite Saturday & Chili Crawl show off the trophy that will be awarded to the top chili at Saturday’s event. There will be 18 types of chili to sample at various locations on River and Division streets in the free event.

MANISTEE — Nothing takes the chill off a cool winter afternoon like some tasty chili.

Those wanting the opportunity to taste some of the areas best chili should plan on attending Saturday’s seventh annual Downtown Manistee Frostbite Saturday and Chili Crawl. It will take palace from noon to 6 p.m. and co-chairs Chelsea Harvey and Jackie Gielczyk are promising an event that will be fun for the whole family.

They have helped put together an event that features more than the chili, as there will activities for the kids and adults at various locations along River and Division streets. The Manistee Main Street Downtown Development Authority event is sponsored by Morton Salt (presenting sponsor), the Filer Credit Union, The Ideal Kitchen, Hybza Chiropractic, The Little River Casino and Resort and West Shore Community College.

“We have two more chili entries than last year as there are 18 entries instead of the 16 last year,” said Harvey. “We have added two locations on Division Street, so that is new this year.”

The events are free to the public and scorecards to rate the chili will be at all 18 locations, allowing people the opportunity to start their tasting “crawl” anywhere along the route. However, Gielczyk said there is something new they are asking people this year.

“There is a spot on the scorecard where people can write in where they are from and where they heard about it,” said Gielczyk.

Harvey said voting is simple.

“They will get to pick a first choice and a runner-up on the scorecard, so we hope people take the time to try all the chilis,” she said. “We will be awarding prizes to the top three chilis in terms of who receives the most votes, but people will only be asked to vote for their top two choices.”

Harvey said it is the perfect time of the month to fight off those winter blues by getting outside to have fun.

“Everyone is welcome whether you like chili or not, it’s just the idea of getting out and having something fun to do,” she said.

There also will be a series of outdoor winter games that will be held in the open space across from the Manistee Municipal Marina. Weather forecasts are calling for milder temperatures on Saturday.  Harvey and Gielczyk are hoping that means temperatures comfortable to enjoy the events and not too mild to spoil the snow related ones.

Scheduled to take place in that area are a snowman building competition, frozen turkey bowling and “ice” cornhole.

“There is 40 degrees and rain forecast for Friday which would make the snow good for the snowman contest, but we are hoping it doesn’t melt too much of it,” said Harvey.

Oleson’s Food Stores has donated some frozen turkeys for the bowling event. Turkeys will be used to roll and knock down milk jugs.

“The Manistee National Honor Society students are assisting with that event,” said Gielczyk. “They are putting together all the kids games and the prizes for those events.”

The Little River Casino & Resort has donated some blocks of ice to be carved.

“Some will already be carved and placed at various locations, while they are going to be some carved by Jeremy Makowski in front of the Vogue Theatre,” said Harvey.

The Manistee Art Institute will be doing two different art related demonstrations during the afternoon at 2 and 4 p.m. and the Redeemed Furniture Decor and More store is doing a painting of antique furniture display at 3 p.m.

“A lot of the stores will have sales going on throughout the day, as that is why we are kind of doing this,” said Harvey.

After tasting the chili, people should leave their scorecard at one of the 18 locations or bring it to TJ’s Pub for the 5 p.m. awards and after party that is open to the public. John Pomeroy will be playing music for people as the results are being tabulated.

Chili locations will be at Port City Organics, Redeemed Furniture and More, Wahr Hardware, Happy Hippie, Blue Fish Kitchen and Bar, Famous Flynn’s, Goody Juice and Java, Manistee Art Institute, Happy Owl BookShop, NU2U, Vogue Theatre, Northern Spirits, Reusch Jewelers, Snyders Shoes, TJ’s Pub, Ideal Kitchen, Moving Spirit and Kellie’s Hallmark Store.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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