Chili cook-off, fall festival set for October 16

CELINA-The 2nd Annual Clay County Chili Cook-off and Fall Festival has been scheduled here on the square for Saturday, October 16, as part of a day-long slate of autumn activities.

The chili-cooking competition will be the highlighted event of the day, but several other activities are scheduled, including bluegrass and country music, and a cornhole tournament.

Organizers invite all businesses, charities, non-profit organizations and individuals to enter the competition.

The cookoff will feature a grand prize of $500, a second-place prize of $150, and third place will receive $100.  The entry fee is $20 per team. Contestant entry forms are available at the county mayor’s office at the community center, and participants can enter up through Friday, October 15. Detailed competition guidelines and information are also available at the mayor’s office.

“Traditional Red Chili” will be the fare of the day, defined by the competition rules as “any kind of meat or combination of meat, cooked with various spices and other ingredients.” Official judges will cast their vote based on “good flavor, texture, consistency, blend of spices and color,” the rules say.

The cook-off will allow chili-lovers to sample a wide variety of recipes, and to cast a vote for their favorite. Tasting kits will be sold for $5, allowing samplers to get a taste from all the cook-off contestants.  The kit includes a commemorative bowl, spoon, napkin and voting ballot. Sampling will begin after contestants have turned in their chili for judging at 11 a.m.

Other awards to be handed out in the competition will be the “People’s Choice” award (determined by sampler’s vote) and best decorated booth.

Other events planned

In addition to the featured event, several others are planned, including:

• Live music with local talent, beginning at noon and continuing throughout the afternoon;

• A double-elimination cornhole tournament featuring 100% payback, with a $20 entry fee per team;

• Competition for the best-decorated storefront (contact Donna Hamilton at 243-2161 to enter), and

• other food booths and activities, including inflatables for the kids.

Anyone interested in performing live music should contact the chamber of commerce at 243-3338 and for more information about the event, contact Lisa Thompson at 243-2161, Daniel Stewart at 265-5633, or Melissa Roach at 243-3674.