When the 2021 Fire & Ice Festival kicks off next weekend, one event in particular will bring the fire.
The Tour de Fuego is a food-and-wine event that will be held at Lord’s Landscaping in Millville from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.
The event features cuisine from the Off the Hook restaurant group’s five area restaurants, as well as wine from the Bethany Beverage Co. Amy Hughes of Lord’s Landscaping said the proceeds from the event will benefit Santa’s Letters, a charity run by Kristina and Sean Malone, who own Kristina’s Kitchen in Millville.
Off the Hook’s lead chef, Christian Constantino, will bring the chefs from each of the group’s restaurants, and each will prepare a different course, Hughes said. In addition to the five food stations, there will be three wine stations along the quarter-mile “tour,” she said.
As guests walk between the stations, they will see nine stations, sponsored by area businesses, with ice sculptures featuring this year’s Fire & Ice theme of “Delmarvelous.”
To help add “fire” to the event, tiki torches, fire pits and heaters will be placed along the path as well, Hughes said.
Planning the Fire & Ice event this year was a challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Hughes said the “walking tour” idea allowed planners to bring a food event while assuring social distancing. Tickets will be timed, and sold in “pods” of four, to ensure that guests can remain safely spaced, she said.
Adding to the “fire” element will be performance by “fire dancer” Courtney Clucas, who will be entertaining guests as they enter the event. All guests will be parking in the Millville Volunteer Fire Company lot across Route 26 from Lord’s and will be escorted to the festival at the proper time. Guests are required to wear masks between stations and when not eating or drinking.
Hughes said cooperation from local businesses has been the key to putting together such a unique event.
“Businesses literally called us and said they wanted to be involved,” she said, adding that they have been “overly generous” with their time, and with their willingness to donate to Santa’s Letters.
She said Santa’s Letters was chosen as a beneficiary because the Malones have made such a difference to area families around the holidays and the couple wants to expand its scope to provide more year-round support.
As of Coastal Point press time on Wednesday, Feb. 17, Hughes said about 60 percent of the available tickets had been sold.
“We want to raise $10,000, and to do that we need to sell out,” she said.
Hughes said participants should dress warmly and remember the event is walking-only, so they should wear comfortable shoes. There will be no tables for dining. Lord’s will be providing reusable bags for guests to use for any “goodies” they collect from area businesses that have tables set up by the ice sculptures they are sponsoring.
Tickets for Tour de Fuego cost $40 each, sold in pods of four tickets. They are available online on the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce website, at http://business.bethany-fenwick.org/events/details/fire-ice-delmarvelous-festival-tour-de-fuego-21874.
Lord’s Landscaping is located at 35577 Atlantic Ave., Millville. The fire hall is directly across the street. There is no “rain date” scheduled, and Hughes said any cancellation will be a “game-time decision. Fire & Ice Tour de Fuego also has a Facebook page which is updated frequently.