Mount Clemens events mix fire and ice

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published January 25, 2018

 Ice carvings will line the streets of downtown Mount Clemens during the 12th annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off Pub Crawl and Ice Carving Show Feb. 1-4.

Ice carvings will line the streets of downtown Mount Clemens during the 12th annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off Pub Crawl and Ice Carving Show Feb. 1-4.

Photo provided

MOUNT CLEMENS — Beat the chill with some chili during the 13th annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off, Pub Crawl and Ice Carving Show coming up in downtown Mount Clemens Feb. 1-4.

The cook-off and pub crawl will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, and it pits participating downtown restaurants and bars against one another for the coveted crown.

Three-time champions Three Blind Mice Irish Pub will go up against Abibbo, Bath City Bistro, Gumbo’s, Madison’s Pub, O’Halloran’s Public House, Orleans Sports Café, The Rec Bowl and Your Mother’s.

Attendees score each chili, and the winner is ultimately selected by popular vote. Attendees must score at least six of the 10 entries for their scorecard to be counted.

Hosted by the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority, proceeds from the cook-off will be equally divided between two area charities: the Anton Art Center and the Mount Clemens Goodfellows. DDA Director Michelle Weiss said last year’s event raised $3,800 and helped these two groups continue to serve the community.

Weiss said the event originates back to 2006, when Mount Clemens hosted several activities as part of Super Bowl XL in Detroit. Since then, the event has raised over $39,000 for its beneficiaries, and it continues to serve as the opening for the ice carving show festivities.

This year’s show starts at noon on Feb. 2 and will continue through Feb. 4.

Unique from other ice shows, the Mount Clemens Ice Carving Show features more than 60 sculptures, including live sculpting throughout the downtown area and local storefronts. In addition, this year’s show will honor the Mount Clemens bicentennial with sculptures representing different eras.

Chef Jeff Wolf, a culinary arts instructor at Macomb Community College and owner of Finesse Cuisine in Shelby Township, is coordinating all of the event’s ice sculpting. He and his team of seven award-winning professional ice sculptors will display and carve their artwork at the Fountain Stage on Macomb Place, in the Cherry Street Mall area, and on Macomb Place.

Wolf has 35 years of experience in ice sculpting and has received numerous national awards for his work. He said this year’s theme will focus on notable and historical elements of the city’s past.

“It’s really kind of exciting because we’re sculpting some of the things that Mount Clemens is known for,” he said. “There will be a streetcar, a Hacker boat, an old-style gas pump, buildings that have historical significance in the city, something related to bootlegging, Waterworks fountain, and fishing and trapping will be represented.”

Wolf has donated blocks of ice, as well, for the event. He said some of the sculptures are 4 feet in height, with the largest one over 8 feet.

“This will really be kind of a fun thing for people to see the history and think back a bit,” Wolf said. “This is my kind of event.”

The live ice carving demonstrations will take place at the Fountain Stage on Macomb Place from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 3, and from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 4. All demonstrations are weather permitting.

The weekend event will also feature the Indoor Kids Wonderland Warming Center, 70 Macomb Place, with a Princess and Friends meet-and-greet, a life-size Candyland game, a carless drive-in movie, crafts, fantasy face painting, popcorn and hot chocolate. The Mount Clemens Lions Club will be offering free children’s vision screenings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 3. Warming center hours are noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 3 and noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 4.

Tickets for the Fire and Ice Chili Cook-off Pub Crawl Fundraiser can be purchased with a $15 donation for one, or a $25 donation for two, and are available at participating establishments.

Each participant will receive a wristband good for a taster-size chili at each restaurant, and the first 350 registrants will also receive free souvenir chili pepper party beads.

For more information, call (586) 469-4168 or visit DowntownMountClemens.com.