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Here's a heads-up for a down-home soup-tasting session that is fast becoming a firm favorite on the Marco Island seasonal calendar.

It's the annual Souper Bowl sup down, the third of its kind, and takes place Jan. 31.

The impressive preamble is that for months students from local schools have been painting ceramic bowls, which are in turned fired and stored for sale to the huge crowds expected to turn out at Mackle Park from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Saturday before the other, similar-sounding, Super Bowl.

The hand-painted bowls will sell for $10, after which tasters can circulate around the park's airnasium to sample soups created by 10 Marco restaurant chefs. There are no limits to samples.

Funds raised go toward providing student scholarships, and the project is presented by the Leadership Marco alumni under the umbrella of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, special larger bowls painted by local artists will be on sale through a silent auction.

Pictured are a couple of the types of cool artwork that appear on the students' bowls.

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