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February 13, 2013

Fire & Ice with Spice to bring community together

Chili cook-off, ice-carving, fire jugglers, kids activities highlight Feb. 16 event

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

CLAWSON — For the fifth-straight year, Random Acts of Kindness Week will bring residents together for a constantly evolving community meet-up and chili cook-off filled with entertainment for the whole family.

Fire & Ice with Spice — which went by the name Fire & Spice … and Everything Nice last year — has moved down the street to a larger, drier venue. Rather than take place under one heated tent in the sometimes muddy field west of Clawson Shoe Service, 49 W. 14 Mile, this year’s event will put two 20-by-40-feet heated tents in the parking lot on the northeast corner of Main and Gardner, just south of Clawson Grill and South Main Beauty Supply, 45 S. Main.

“We have a larger venue. We are doubling the size of the heated tent that we’ll be housing the chili cook-off and kids activities in,” said Gary Fryatt, owner of Laundry Palace, who is sponsoring the chili cook-off aspect of the event. “At this time of year, everyone’s got cabin fever and is looking to get out. We try to get people out and be different. We’re trying to get people downtown and add a charitable part to this event.”

From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 16, families will be able to enjoy chili from at least eight separate businesses. Purchases of the chili will serve as votes toward the chili cook-off winner, with the proceeds from each competing business being donated to a charity of their choosing. The winning group will receive a trophy and cash prize of $150. Second and third place earn $75 and $25, respectively.

The Gridiron Club, which won last year, is slated to defend their title in an attempt to raise funds for Clawson youth football, Fryatt said.

“It’s bragging rights in town here, as well as benefiting local charities,” Fryatt said. “They have to prepare their foods in a licensed kitchen. We won’t be cooking any food on-site.”

Deputy Dog’s Coney is raising money for the Clawson High School football program, Clawson Grill is hoping to help the CHS Marching Band with new uniforms, and several other local groups are looking to help each other out during Random Acts of Kindness Week.

“We started doing this event during this time because it’s Random Acts of Kindness Week,” said Joan Horton, Downtown Development Authority director. “It’s just kind of grown and evolved. This year is ice-carving. There are 10 businesses that have purchased ice-carvings that will be on display.”

Horton said the 10 ice-carvings will be done by students from Oakland Community College, while their instructors will provide live demonstrations from noon-3 p.m. during the event.

During the same noon-3 p.m. time frame, there will be fire jugglers and fire breathers warming the air with their performance.

Although there will not be a marshmallow drop like last year or woodcarvings like in several past years, Fryatt said the Girl Scouts would be on hand selling cookies. There will also be crafting activities for kids inside the heated tents, which will have enclosed side panels.

“Everybody likes to come out when the street’s closed off or a lot that’s closed off,” Horton said. “Clawson is such a tight-knit, small community.”

More than 500 people attended last year’s event and, weather permitting, Fryatt is hoping to top the 1,000 mark over the course of the day.

For more information, visit www.downtownclawson.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at cjackett@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1110.