Downtown Clawson to heat up with annual chili event

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published February 14, 2017

CLAWSON — Things are going to heat up downtown when the chili hits the pots this weekend during one of the city’s most popular annual events.

Fire & Ice with Spice will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, and is presented by the Clawson Downtown Development Authority.

Event organizers said the event usually draws a large crowd, but every year varies depending on the weather.

“We host this in the southeast municipal parking lot,” said Mayor Penny Luebs. “Look for the big white tents. The tents will be heated.”

The southeast municipal parking lot is located on South Main Street.

Event organizers said the happening will include ice carvings on display and demonstrations throughout the day; fire-eating performers and jugglers to keep attendees entertained; bonfires and heated tents to keep people warm; s’mores stations; live music; and the famous chili cook-off.

This year’s chili-cook lineup includes Clawson Grill, Mojave Cantina, Moose Winooski’s, Black Lotus Brewing Co., Montage Grill and Clawson Steak House.

“Any money raised from the chili cook-offs will go to the school,” Luebs said.

All proceeds will benefit Clawson Public Schools PTOs and various school booster clubs.

“We’ve always done the chili cook-off as a charity-minded thing,” said Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Joan Horton. “It has been civic groups, it’s been the food bank, it’s been different things, and this year, we’re strictly just focusing on the schools. It’s a good partnership.”

Horton said another notable change this year is that many of the ice carvings will be completed before the event instead of on the same day.

“The businesses that have sponsored carvings we’re doing ahead of time so they could be tailored to their business,” Horton said. “So they are going to be a little more detailed, and they will be fun to look at.”

Horton said that although many carvings will already be on display during the event, there will still be ice carving demonstrations during the event.

There will also be plenty of activities for children, including coloring and pinatas to go along with the cookies, s’mores and hot chocolate.

“It’s just a five-hour event, so there is enough time for everybody in town to drop in, have some chili, cast their vote and see what’s going on,” Horton said. “So even if it’s really cold, it’s still worthwhile to come out and have a good time.”

There is no charge to attend the event or enjoy the entertainment and other activities. There is a charge for food and drinks.

For more information, visit the Fire & Ice with Spice Facebook page.