EVART — It was only a little cold.

That is how Xavier Eastway described Thursday evening, as he and around 40 others took to the ice for some friendly competition in the broomball tournament to kick off the "I Heart Evart" event.

While taking a quick break from the action on the ice, Eastway talked about the interest in playing when some of his fellow teens from Crossroads Community Church came together to form the team.

"You have a little entertainment and it's fun," he said. "It's nice to get out and do something like this."

Four teams — Dude, Where's My Boat, Evart Fire, Crossroads Life and Clean Sweep — comprised the tournament, which was all about having fun with others in the community, said Al Weinberg, Evart Downtown Development Authority president.

"We're out here to have fun and enjoy the night," he said, welcoming the members of the teams to the ice before going over the rules.

The round-robin tournament on Thursday night kicked off the week-long customer appreciation event the members of the Evart DDA are holding until Wednesday, Feb. 15.

“There are a lot of participating shops in the area, as 2016 was a good year for us,” Weinberg said in a previous article. “We were all really pleased with the Shop Small Saturday and had a lot of people come out and show their support for shopping local. Business owners wanted to celebrate their good year and kick off 2017 with something special that ties in to Valentine’s Day.”

Fifteen different DDA stores are participating in the "I Heart Evart” event, and they will have in-store specials and other activities planned throughout the week, Weinberg added.

“All these stores are working together to also do an Evart bingo,” he said. “Customers will be able to go to the different stores for different things. If they buy a book at one place they get a stamp on their card; if they buy flowers, they get another stamp. There are things that are general and then there are really specific things for certain stamps.”

Bingo winners will be included in a drawing for a chance to claim a portion of $600 Evart bucks, which is just as good as money and is accepted at virtually all locally owned business, Weinberg said. The drawing will be live on Facebook at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 15. First prize will be $300 Evart bucks, second is $180 and third prize is $120.

Organizers for broomball tournament expressed appreciation to Evart's Department of Public Works for making sure the rink was ready for action, and 7th Street Coffee Company for providing warm drinks to players.

For more information about the "I Heart Evart" event, visit Evart DDA Facebook page.