Story and photos by Lisa Carolin
Thanks to 50-degree weather just a few days before Chelsea’s second annual Curling Festival, there was no curling at least for the first two days of the festival.
Instead, on Saturday, Feb. 9, curling teams became fowling teams and participated in a fowling tournament.
Fowling is a combination of football and bowling, and didn’t require any specific weather conditions to be played. The adjacent Chelsea Lanes bowling center supplied the bowling pins, which opposing teams tried to knock down by throwing footballs across a field.
“This is historically the coldest and driest weekend of the year,” said John Hanifan, Chelsea city manager and curling enthusiast. “Our curling teams are transitioning to fowling. They’re resilient.”
He was referring to such would-be curlers as Regan Bachus and Maureen Kline, who came from Dexter.
“It’s fun and we’re happy,” said Bachus.
“The sun is out, and it gets us away from the kids,” said Kline.
There were other activities in Chelsea on a busy Saturday, including the Chelsea Depot Artisans Market and the Chocolate Extravaganza celebrated at many businesses around town.
The Artisans Market offered pottery, bird feeders, soaps, jewelry, pens, and fancy chocolates for sale. Stained glass artist Marsi Darwin organized the event.
“Our artists must have good quality, unique items,” said Darwin. “February is a dead month, and I rented the Depot last year and decided to do it again this year. We’ve had a good crowd.”
Meanwhile, dozens of Chelsea businesses offered chocolaty freebees to all shoppers. Wines on Main served chocolate martinis and chocolate covered strawberries at its busy bar. Violet and Moss featured Valentine’s Day candy, the Attic Boutique had chocolate truffles, and Merkel Furniture offered homemade brownies.
It was a big day for chocolate treats at Zou Zous, which had plenty of free chocolate candy like M&Ms and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, along with an impressive selection of chocolate baked goods like chocolate cakes and cupcakes, chocolate custard brioche, and chocolate hazelnut tarts.