Dowagiac restaurants gearing up for annual Ice Time Chili Crawl

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Six restaurants will bring the fire to Dowagiac’s Ice Time Festival, Saturday, February 4, as they compete to be the public’s favorite in the festival’s annual Chili Crawl.

Returning competitors include The Baker’s Rhapsody, The Eagles, Front Street Crossing/COA, Wood Fire Trattoria and Wounded Minnow Saloon.

A new entrant to this year’s friendly competition is Oak + Ash BBQ, with Chef Alain Helfrich preparing a Smoked Brisket Chili in which all the meats are smoked.

The Chili Crawl will take place from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. All but one Chili Crawl location are located on South Front Street, downtown Dowagiac. Participants can ride the free shuttle bus from downtown to The Eagles.

The public can sample each restaurant’s chili for free, and then vote for their favorite on a ballot available at each site.

Corporate underwriters of the Ice Time Festival are Dowagiac Credit Union, Dowsett Chiropractic, Garage Doors Plus More, 1st Source Bank, Lyons Industries and Who Knew? Consignment.

The festival’s ice carving begins early in the morning. Both inside and outdoor winter activities for families are featured throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m., and participating specialty shops will host Out of Hibernation specials.

For a full schedule of events visit and its Facebook page.