Macomb County winter festivals a great way to chill out

Macomb County provides endless summertime fun, everything from outdoor concerts to ethnic festivals to firework displays. But what many don’t realize is what Macomb County provides in the winter months as well. Starting this week and going well into the month of February, there are many winter-themed events to participate in. So if you’re starting to get a touch of cabin fever, check out these events that are sure to kick the winter blues.

New Baltimore Winterfest – Jan. 27, 28 & 29

polar-plunge-nbThe city of New Baltimore is hosting their annual Winterfest beginning on Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 29. The expanded event consists of both new activities and traditional favorites. Friday’s events include a corn hole tournament, live music from the Meldrum Brother’s Band and the Iron Arm Mug Holding Competition, which offers a $100 cash prize to the person who holds a heavy glass mug filled with water straight out in front of them the longest without spilling the water or bending their arm. Saturday events include the famous Chili Cook-off at 6 p.m. and the start of the ice fishing tournament. On Sunday, the tournament concludes, and many brave individuals can participate in the Polar Plunge at 2 p.m. There will also be live music throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit http://newbaltimorelions.com/.

chilliBlake’s Chili Cook-off – Saturday, Jan. 28

Come out for a day of homemade, award-winning chili, plus drinks, music and a good time at Blake’s Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Jan. 28! Ticket sales are limited and cost $14 pre-purchased and $16 at the door. Blake’s is offering designated driver tickets as well. Your purchase includes: two drink tickets to redeem two 12-oz. glasses of Blake’s hard cider or Blake’s beer and 10 tickets to redeem for 10 4-oz. cups of chili – that’s two drinks and 40 oz. of chili for $14! Your ticket also includes the opportunity to enjoy live music, play games like corn hole and the ability to jam and chill by the bonfire! Chili will be served promptly from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The judging and winners will be announced from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and there will be live music in the tasting room from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://blakeshardciderco.ticketleap.com/2nd-annual-blakes-hard-cider-co-chili-cook-off/.

Mount Clemens Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off and Ice Carving Show – Thursday, Feb. 2 to Sunday, Feb. 5 

Downtown Mount Clemens will have a fiery start to the annual ice carving weekend with the 12th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off Fundraiser. The fundraiser kicks off the fun at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. All proceeds of this event benefit the Anton Art Center and the Mount Clemens Goodfellows. For a $15 donation per person or $25 for two people, participants receive a “taster” chili at each location, souvenir chili pepper beads and score card. Participating establishments include:  Abibbo, Bath City Bistro, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chantel’s Jailhouse Deli, Madison’s Pub, O’Halloran’s Public House, Orleans Sports Cafe, Rec Bowl, Seeburger’s Cheeseburgers, Three Blind Mice Irish Pub and Your Mothers. Tickets for the Fire & Ice Chili Cook-off Fundraiser are available at any participating fire-ice-cook-off-main-600xestablishment.

Don’t miss the 12th Annual Downtown Mount Clemens Ice Carving Show. This is a great opportunity for the entire family to spend time outdoors during the Michigan winter while enjoying this unique show with carving demonstrations throughout the event. The show opens on Friday, Feb. 3 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 5.

Live ice carving demonstrations will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 and from noon until 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. Public ice carving will take place on the Fountain Stage located on Macomb Place between Walnut and Pine streets. In addition to live carving, dozens of sculptures will be featured on the sidewalks of downtown Mount Clemens along Macomb Place and Cherry Street Mall. Take a break and warm up at the Indoor Kids Wonderland Warming Center which will feature Elsa and friends, a life-sized Candyland game, hobby horse races, face painting, carnival games, popcorn, penny candy and hot chocolate. For more information, visit www.downtownmountclemens.com.

Richmond Winter Festival – Friday, Feb. 3 – Sunday, Feb. 5

The Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce is once again hosting their annual Winter Festival. The festival begins on Friday, Feb. 3 with a spaghetti dinner sponsored by Richmond Community Schools. Following the dinner, fireworks will be displayed on the football field. Saturday and Sunday activities include a chili cook-off, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice sculptures and much more! For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/RichmondChamberMI/.

Utica Ice Festival – Friday, Feb. 10 – Sunday, Feb. 12

12743494_753746204755417_7008029112777401504_nAn event you don’t want to miss, the downtown Utica ice carving and fireworks spectacular includes live music, horse carriage rides, live ice carving displays and, of course, fireworks! All events will be held in historic downtown Utica. Please visit www.utica-events.com for more information.

St. Clair Shores AquaFreeze – Saturday, Feb. 18 & Sunday, Feb. 19

Another great way to get rid of the wintertime blues is to attend the 4th Annual St. Clair Shores AquaFreeze Festival, especially since this year’s theme is Mardi Gras! There will be a variety of family-friendly events held throughout the entire weekend. There will be ice skating and ice carving, a sledding hill and a snowman-building contest! On both Saturday and Sunday, there will also be food vendors and a beer and wine tent filled with live music. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.scsaquafreeze.com.

Walk for Warmth – Saturday, Feb. 18

Walk for Warmth raises funds to assist low-income residents with heat-related emergencies like paying utility bills or replacing a broken furnace. All of the event proceeds benefit Macomb County residents.

Supporters are invited to register as individuals or by forming teams. Registrants can choose to participate in a 5K competitive run (outdoors) or in the family fun walk (indoors) at Macomb Mall. Everyone that registers by Feb.3 will receive an event T-shirt and finisher medal. After Feb. 3, T-shirts are subject to availability. To donate to or register for this event, visit http://mca.macombgov.org/mca-W4W.

Amanda Minaudo is a senior planner in the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development. She often contributes to the Make Macomb Your Home Blog, writing about the many fun and exciting things to see and do around Macomb County. 

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