Royal Oak Hosts Chalk & Chocolate Event


October 16, 2011
Fifth Avenue & Royal Oak,
Cost: Free, Gala $20 or $40 (see website)

Do you appreciate chalk art? Love chocolate? Well, Royal Oak has an event that’s – dare we say – “chock-full” of fun.

The Oct. 14 through 16 event in downtown Royal Oak is a fundraiser for the Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools Art Club Fund. Put on by the Royal Oak Association of Retailers and the Royal Oak Restaurant Association, the event features student and professional chalk art, chocolate food and drink, and entertainment.

Oct. 14 is an adults-only gala at Fifth Avenue in Royal Oak from 7 to 10 p.m.  The cost is $40 per person, or $20 ahead of time through Groupon, and includes heavy appetizers from Andiamo, Lilly’s Seafood, Rock on Third and other local eateries; chocolate treats from Gayle’s Chocolates and Piece of Cake Liqueur; and entertainment from The Brothers Groove. Artists David Zinn, Larry Stephens and Keith Coleman, whose work will be featured in the art tour, will also be on hand to meet and greet.

The Oct. 15 and 16 art tour runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and is free. It will feature art from Ann Arbor illustrator David Zinn, who wrote the book “Random, Unprovoked Acts of Temporary Art” Oxford painter Larry Stephens and metal artist Keith Coleman.

What’s more, the tour will feature student art, which is the cause for the event. Elementary school students will do their artistry on the storefront windows.  Middle school and high school students – whose work will be juried for the tour — will draw on the Stagecrafters Pedestrian Mall on Washington and Fifth Streets, where Keith Coleman’s 12-foot tall metal fire-breathing dragon will stand.

“The kids need more of an opportunity to create,” said Peggy Goodwin, publicist for the event. “It’s giving them something to bring their families down to.”

During the tour, Royal Oak stores will host activities and have specials for shoppers. For example, Andiamo is having a “kids eat free” special during the tour. Each participating retailer – there were 35 at press time – will have chocolate delicacies to sample.

“Everybody’s going to play up chocolate in a different way,” Goodwin said.

Chalk & Chocolate is meant to be an annual event, Goodwin said. The unique art tour – one of a kind in south eastern Michigan as far as Goodwin knows – benefits retailers in a way the city’s many street fairs may not, she said.

“It’s bringing attention to downtown store fronts. It’s a different way to look at Royal Oak.”

Get tickets for opening night at www.groupon.com, at Five 15 Media, Mojo and More in Royal Oak, or at the door at Fifth Avenue.

For more information, visit www.chalkandchocolate.com.

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