Frostbite Saturday and Chili Crawl slated for the weekend

The ninth annual Frostbite Saturday chili cook off will feature chili in amateur and professional divisions at 16 different establishments in downtown Manistee this weekend. (News Advocate File photo)

The ninth annual Frostbite Saturday chili cook off will feature chili in amateur and professional divisions at 16 different establishments in downtown Manistee this weekend. (News Advocate File photo)

MANISTEE — Bringing a bit of warmth to Manistee this weekend, the Manistee Downtown Development Authority’s ninth annual Frostbite Saturday and Chili Craw gives local residents the chance to enjoy a day downtown, despite the chilly weather.

On Saturday, downtown businesses will host several chili recipes cooked by local residents from 3-5:30 p.m., allowing residents to test each one and cast a vote on their scorecards.

This year, 16 teams will compete in either the amateur or professional divisions of the cook-off.

Mary Nezki, who organizes the event with Shelly Doyen, said taste testing is free to whomever would like to join; the entrants all paid a fee to help off-set event costs.

“There are 16 total locations to test; they stretch all of the way up the corner of Division and First streets, down River Street and a couple on Memorial Drive,” Nezki said. “The prize is for Downtown Dollars. The top winner, out of all of them, wins a trophy they get to display in their shop for the next year — and bragging rights of course.”

At the end of the evening, attendees are welcome to join the after-party at North Channel Brewery Co. at 86 Washington St., to find out the results and listen to music by D.J. Cole Black from 6-9 p.m. There is no cost to enter the party.

“(The public) can give each chili a rating between one and five, and that’s compiled. We have seven professional entries and nine amateurs,” Nezki said. “We are trying to make the event more than just chili, taking it into the evening.”

Nezki said entrants are either recruited by a business or work at the establishment. She said the number of people who attend the event has increased each year.

“Everybody recruits their own cook and makes their own recipe,” she said. “We serve more people each year. We are typically serving between 500 to 600 samples of chili during the event.”

Although temperatures are expected to be around 31 degrees on Saturday, Nezki expects a large turnout like previous years. She said the event brings more people downtown to check out the businesses, during the dead of winter.

“It was started as something to break up the winter,” she said. “By mid-February everybody has cabin fever and wants a reason to get out of the house.”

See a complete list of the chili entries for the 2018 Frostbite Saturday and Chili Crawl on page 8A.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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