Marion County Park and Lake will have its sixth annual chili cook-off from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 6 outside the lake hall.
Contestants can cook their chili in advance, Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said, but they must have two gallons of chili. There will be cash prizes and trophies for the top three competitors, a traveling trophy for the champion, and a trophy for the competitors’ choice winner.
Entries are judged by the general public. The cost of admission provides a bowl and spoon to sample the chili varieties, as well as a bean used as a ballot, given to the person’s choice for winner. Hudson said showmanship and salesmanship are important in gathering votes.
Last year’s cook-off raised $1,163 for the lake, and the competition resulted in a tie for first place. To break the tie, someone who hadn’t tasted any of the chilies did a blind taste test of the top two vote-getters.
Hudson said he would love to have 18 to 20 competitors in this year’s cook-off. He has heard from a potential competitor from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, who said he planned to make chili using black bear meat.
Trailer residents have been big supporters of the cook-off ever since it was started. Hudson said it was originally their idea.
After the cook-off is finished, there will be a cornhole a game similar to washers) tournament, also to benefit the lake. The first tournament was last year.