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Sweetest Day event to benefit children’s art curriculum fund

By |2018-01-16T15:53:15-05:00October 13th, 2011|News|

The Royal Oak Association of Retailers and Royal Oak Restaurant Association have joined forces for an unprecedented program which brings art, culture and community good will into focus. The first of its kind “Chalk & Chocolate Art Tour” is set to kick-off with an opening night gala on Friday, Oct. 14 from 7-10 p.m. at 215 W. Fifth St. It will be followed by tours on Saturday and Sunday in the downtown area starting at 11 a.m. till 4 p.m.
The benefit tour was conceived to raise funds for diminishing K-12 school arts programs for the Royal Oak Neighborhood School Arts Curriculum Fund. Research shows that children who become involved in the arts early in life do better personally and academically later in life. More than 90 art students from Royal Oak’s six elementary schools and its middle and high school are creating art for the Pedestrian Mall on Fifth and Washington as well as pastel drawings to be installed throughout the downtown windows.
“Not only is the event unprecedented in Royal Oak, but this is the first time we have the power of the Royal Oak Restaurant Association joining forces with us. This is a true showcase of the retailers and the restaurants coming together,”said ROAR President Gary Baglio.
Proprietor Anne Kuffler, owner of Ariana Gallery, one of Royal Oak’s long-time retailers the past 26 years, shared Baglio’s sentiments. “I am especially pleased we are producing an art oriented event that people of all ages can enjoy. It will encourage people to both participate as artists and to tour the streets of downtown Royal Oak to discover the chalk art and taste the chocolate art.”
Chalk art designs by youth, along with emerging and professional artists will adorn the sidewalks, facades and windows of downtown. Guests can pick up their programs at the information booth at Fifth and Washington, next to the 12-foot tall Fire Breathing Dragon designed by metal artist Keith Coleman. During the tour, along with the chalk art, chocolate sculptures and special menu items will be featured at participating retailers and restaurants. The tour ends at 4 p.m. each day and a “Chocolate Happy Hour” featuring Piece of Cake will take place in participating restaurants including Shine, Pronto!, Fur Baby & Me, Our Credit Union, That Girl, Rise, Bra-vo Intimates, Five 15 Media, Mojo & More, LaRoche, 5th & Fringe Salon, Write Impressions, Gayle’s Chocolates, Wooden Hangers on Washington Ave; The Ladybug Shoppe and Oak City Grille and Urbane Apartments on Sixth Street; Fifth Avenue, Woody’s Diner and O’Tooles on Fifth Street; Noir Leather and Creative Arts Studio on Fourth Street; Black Finn, Bastone, Barnes & Noble, 526 Main PIano Bar, Taste of Love Cupcakes, Andiamo, Ariana Gallery and Footprints on Main Street; The Rock on Third and others.
“This is unlike any event past or present,” added Baglio, the owner of Five15 on Washington.
“We have a strong group of some 85 retail establishments in our downtown and we are energized and determined to do things that make our downtown shine in a positive light,” he added.
The opening night celebration features food from favorite Royal Oak restaurants including Andiamo, Lily’s Seafood, The Rock on Third and more. Entertainment will be provided by one of Detroit’s funkified soulful bands, “The Brothers Groove,” chocolate delights by Gayle’s Chocolates and Piece of Cake Liqueur. Guests will have an opportunity to meet and greet internationally renowned artists including David Zinn, Larry Stephens and Keith Coleman.
Parking is available at Sixth and Lafayette, one block west of Fifth Ave., as well as Center and Third St., two blocks north of Fifth Ave. Tickets are $40 but for a limited time take advantage of discounted tickets offered through GROUPON for just $20. Learn more online at

– BTL Staff

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.
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