Chili cook-off means tasty time

Bold, new tastes are coming to the Grand Olde West Days celebration.

But people should get a plan and form teams if they want to compete in the first chili cook-off.

"That's what I was hoping for -- to get teams together to compete against each other," coordinator Nadine Dasz-kiewicz said. "For example, we want to get the fire department to challenge the police department."

A few teams already have signed up to cook chili May 29 at the Grand Olde West Days celebration. The competition will pit teams of chili cooks against one another for a grand prize trophy. A panel of judges will determine the best-tasting chili. For $5, members of the public can purchase a tasting mug filled with chili. Proceeds from the event will go toward a building fund for The Memorial Hospital to make a new hospital.

"I hope it goes really well," Daszkiewicz said. "It's the first year, but going by the success chili cook-offs have had in other towns, it should be a huge event."

Individuals or teams can enter the contest for a $30 fee. Teams can start cooking on site between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. At 4 p.m., chili should be ready for tasting. Teams are required to make four gallons.

"We're looking for tasty rather than fiery," Daszkiewicz said.

The public can judge teams' chili and can vote for their favorite picks through donation jars placed in front of each booth. The team that collects the most money will win a "People's Choice" award. Another award will be presented to the team that wears the best costumes and has the best-decorated booth.

The 13 40 Band will play, and refreshments will be sold by a booth run by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265. Members of The Memorial Hospital Foundation will sell dessert.

For more information about the event or to sign up to cook, call Nadine Daszkiewicz at 824-8148. Entry forms are available at www.grandoldewestdays.com.

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