Vodka Vodka and Winter Beer Fest: Vodka and beer are taking over the spirits spotlight in Royal Oak this weekend for a worthy cause.
Camp Casey, a nonprofit horseback-riding program for children with cancer and their families, will receive funds from Friday’s Vodka Vodka event and Saturday’s Winter Beer Fest.
“There are countless worthy charities,” says Molly Reeser, who founded Camp Casey in 2004 when she was in college. “And as one that is small, grassroots and operates almost entirely on a volunteer base, it’s important to us that our fund-raisers are as profitable for our nonprofit as they are well-run and enjoyable for our guests. It’s been incredible to team up with businesses like Metro Times that is putting on Vodka Vodka and the Royal Oak Music Theatre that puts on the Winter Beer Fest since we know that these signature events promise a good time year after year.”
Friday’s vodka party will incorporate music by Dante LaSalle, food samples from local restaurants such as Café Sushi, Treat Dreams and Detroit Prime, and drink samples from a variety of companies, including Valentine Vodka, Civilized and Sakura.
The beer fest will showcase more than 80 brews and live music from acoustic duo Reggie and Nick. VIP guests will have access to the event an hour early and receive extra beer samples. Food will be available for purchase.
“The most fun part of attending events like Vodka Vodka and Winter Beer Fest is being in a fun, party-like environment full of young and energetic people and getting to feel good about it all since the party is actually a fund-raiser,” Reeser says. “Typically, when people think of fundraisers, a stuffy banquet hall event comes to mind. That is far from what someone could expect when walking into a Camp Casey fundraiser. Our organization is run by creative young professionals who like to plan the same kind of events that they themselves would like to attend.”
Last year, Camp Casey raised about $5,000 from Winter Beer Fest and $2,000 from Vodka Vodka.
“As a fairly young organization, it’s important that we spread the word about Camp Casey to as many people as possible so that we’re able to reach those that can benefit from our services,” Reeser says. “If just one attendee at one of our fundraisers is able to tell a family about Camp Casey, the event is successful before ever counting any of the event’s profits. Our fund raisers bring awareness to those who might not have otherwise known about us.”
Vodka Vodka, 8 p.m.-midnight Friday, Royal Oak Farmers Market, 316 E. Eleven Mile, Royal Oak. $50, $45 advance. Tickets includes food samples and 10 drink vouchers.
Winter Beer Fest, 8 p.m.-midnight Saturday, Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth, Royal Oak. 248-399-2980. $40, includes 25 samples; $70 VIP tickets available online only.
Fire & Ice Festival: A weekend-long celebration with food, drinks and an abundance of winter activities gets under way Friday in downtown Rochester.
The city’s Fire & Ice Festival includes ice-carving demonstrations, an ice-sculpture show, ice skating (bring your own skates), fireworks (8 p.m. Friday and Saturday), tube sledding, a concert by True and more. Food from nearby restaurants Chomp, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rochester Mills Beer Co. and Holy Cannoli’s will be available for purchase, and beer tents, open until 9 p.m., will be set up behind the Rochester Mills Beer Co.
The opening ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. Friday.
Guests can park free in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot (1234 Walton Road) and take a shuttle to the festivities.
New for this year’s event is a Fire & Ice mascot. Organizers asked festival fans to go online and submit name suggestions for the penguin mascot, and the winning name will be revealed before Saturday’s fireworks.
6-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, downtown Rochester. 248-656-0060. Free.
The French-inspired Rodin, a bistro owned by Good Girls Go to Paris creator Torya Blanchard, played host Saturday to Detroit-born and L.A-.based musician Karriem Riggins, who brought the crowd to its feet with a mix of old-school soul, Latin and French fare.
“It was amazing,” says Jasmin De Forrest, who has paid several visits to Rodin since the grand opening in December. “There was such an eclectic group of people. You have the whole Rodin vibe — kind of loungy and lusty. Then you have so many different groups and backgrounds coming together and dancing. You rarely have a party scene like that in Detroit. It’s usually pretty segregated, but the music Karriem plays, he brought out everybody.”
Rodin is at the corner of Woodward and Kirby across from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Every Friday, the restaurant, which boasts a full bar, hosts a DJ dance party. On Saturdays, guests are treated to live jazz.
“Normally, it’s this dinner vibe. You have a lot of couples,” says De Forrest. As the evening progresses, “you slowly start seeing people getting up and getting on the dance floor. As it got later, the music got a little more exciting, and that’s when the dance floor was packed.”
4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-10 p.m. Sunday, 15 E. Kirby, Suite D, Detroit. 313-285-9218.