Chili Cookoff heating up for both groups
by RICK NORTON, Associate Editor
Oct 02, 2012 | 1215 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chili masters in both the Emergency Service and Open divisions are warming up for Saturday’s first-time cookoff at Bradley Square Mall in a showdown of recipes that could land some hefty change, a team trophy and year-long braggin’ rights for the fired-up champions.

The lighthearted, heart-burning competition will kick off at 11 a.m. from the parking lot near Kmart, and will close shop at about 3 p.m.

Although it promises to be a chili kind of day, this American Cancer Society fundraiser — sponsored by the Cleveland Daily Banner Relay For Life team — will also feature plenty of other food delights compliments of additional RFL booths that will set up for the day of heat. Additional booths will be onsite, as will the festive sound of two live bands — “No One Special,” which will be performing first, and then “One Shot Down.”

The latest entry in the Emergency Service Division is Bradley County Fire Rescue whose field of pot stirrers will join teams from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Fire Department and Hamilton County 911. Still no word on whether the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service had organized a replacement team to fill the void left by scheduling conflicts with its “A” Team.

In the Open Division, plenty of applications have been picked up, but the jury’s still out on the eventual number of competitors, according to Angela Mathis, senior community representative for the American Cancer Society.

“We have had several in the Open Category request applications,” Mathis said early today. “Those getting the applications are telling us this will finally give them a chance to showcase their chili.”

Tickets for the day of home-cooking are $5 per person, but for this price of admission buyers will get to sample from small cups of every chili booth onsite in both categories.

“Anyone who comes out for the day, and who buys a $5 ticket, will first try the Emergency Service teams’ chili and place their vote in that contest,” Mathis explained. “Then, they’ll move on to the contestants in the Open Category and place their votes.”

Two awards will be presented in each division. A Judge’s Choice Award will be named in each group by a panel of chili-craving experts while the People’s Choice Award will be selected in each group by observers who buy the $5 ticket and ballot.

First place in the Emergency Service Division for both Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards will win a team trophy and $200, as well as bragging rights. In the Open Division, the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice award winners will receive a team plaque and $100.

“In addition to the small cups of chili from each team for ticket buyers and the judges, we will have a couple of exciting musical groups,” Mathis said. “Also, additional groups will be onsite selling food and beverages for additional fundraising for Relay For Life.”

Special T-shirts commemorating the first-time Emergency Service Chili Cookoff will be sold at the event Saturday. They are already being sold at the Cleveland Daily Banner office at 1505 25th St. for $10 for sizes Small to X-Large, and $12 for 2X and 3X.

“A limited supply of the 2012 Emergency Service Chili Cookoff T-shirts will be available so we encourage interested buyers to get theirs as soon as possible, whether at the Banner office or at the mall on the day of the event,” Mathis said.

Also onsite Saturday will be an American Cancer Society booth selling ACS logowear such as “Fight Like a Girl” and “HOPE.”

Questions or requests for applications may be directed to Mathis at the ACS at 423-855-2778.

According to ACS Chili Cookoff advertising, the deadline for applications in both divisions is Wednesday, Oct. 3.