With ice rink and chili cook-off, new traditions take root in Marine City

New traditions are taking root at one of Marine City’s most historic sites.

Heritage Square, home to the community’s historic City Hall, is also the new home of Marine City’s outdoor ice rink. Donated a year-and-a-half ago by two anonymous donors, the ice rink has been moved to Heritage Square in order to boost the rink’s visibility in the community.

It seems that it’s working. Even though the weather hasn’t cooperated and the ice hasn’t completely frozen, that hasn’t stopped some intrepid skaters from utilizing the portions of the rink that have.

You can’t blame them. The rink has been decorated with an array of white and blue lights, casting an inviting glow on the rink.

“When we moved the rink to 300 Broadway (Heritage Square), we wanted a good area with more exposure to get families using it,” says Laura Scaccia, president of the Marine City Area Chamber of Commerce and owner of the Mariner Theater.

“And then there’s these beautiful blue and white lights.”

A fundraiser has been launched to help cover the lighting expenses. Decorative snowflakes can be purchased at the Mariner Theater, MC Marketplace, and the Sweet Tooth of Marine City, or online. Money raised from the fundraiser will help pay the utility.

Despite the weather not cooperating, the Marine City Area Chamber of Commerce is excited nonetheless. And while the relatively warmer weather means that the ice may not freeze in time for the weekend, the warmer weather also might mean a more enjoyable experience for those attending this weekend’s MC Winter Blues & Chili Cook Off, also taking place at Heritage Square.

It’s the inaugural weekend for the event, which Scaccia expects to become a yearly affair. Local restaurants will be taking part in a chili cook-off with live music, snowflake crafts, and, weather willing, ice skating. Face masks and social distancing will be in effect.

Restaurants participating in the chili cook off include Bistro 428, Gar’s Lounge, the Little Bar, and Marine City Fish Company. Jet’s Pizza will also be on hand, providing their bread sticks for the chili.

“This is a way to get people outside and enjoying the outdoors while also supporting our restaurants,” Scaccia says.

Supporting our local restaurants is an increasingly important goal in these days of COVID-19. That’s why the Chamber has also launched their Let’s Get Takeout! challenge. Entrants can take a photo of their take-out order from a Marine City restaurant and send it to the Chamber’s Facebook page to be entered in the contest, which awards the winners with gift baskets from local businesses.

Let’s Get Takeout! is currently in week three of a ten-week program.

“We’re trying to help our businesses to survive this,” Scaccia says. “Whatever we can do to help them, we’re going to do it.”

More information about the ice rink, MC Winter Blues & Chili Cook Off, and Let’s Get Takeout! events can be found on the Marine City Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. The MC Winter Blues & Chili Cook Off takes place this Saturday, Jan. 16, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Heritage Square in Marine City.

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