published: Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Chili Cook Off spiced up for second year
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- The return of the Rotary Club of Highlands County's Crazy Chili Pepper Cook Off is fast approaching and has been revamped for its second year.
For it's first run, the Crazy Chili Pepper Cook Off brought out five teams to compete against one another for title of best chili. Last year's overall winner was the Avon Park Rotary Club and Crowd Favorite was awarded to Positive Mobility transportation.
The Crazy Chili Pepper Cook Off, named for Rotarian Dr. John Pepper, is back at it again Saturday with a new set up in a new location -- on North Commerce Avenue just off the Circle -- and already has double the field of last year.
Teams will begin cooking at 9 a.m. and the public is invited from noon to 3 p.m.
"We moved downtown this year from Firemen's Field. We are hoping to work more in the downtown area and we really wanted to contribute more down there," Cook Off Coordinator Missy Golden.
Golden has worked closely with the major sponsor, the Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA),
"I'm so grateful to have them as our sponsor. They have been great. All of our other sponsors have been wonderful as well. Budweiser and Bernie Little will be supplying beverages and Winn Dixie has provided a $25 gift card to all the teams in the Cook Off to help with the price of merchandise needed for the Cook Off," Golden said.
Along with the new sponsors and new location, many new features have been added to the event that are geared toward young residents and visitors.
A children's area will provide plenty of fun and entertainment for little ones, such as putt-putt mini golf, fishing games, corn hole and face painting.
"Last year we only had a bounce house and we really weren't expecting a whole lot of kids. We hope to have a lot more this year," Golden said.
"We are working with a great group of people this year. It's going to be a good event. There will be more to eat besides chili. The Rotary will be selling burgers and hot dogs. They'll be beer, sodas and other refreshments. We've added a chili dog eating contest this year, there's just a lot to enjoy," Golden said.
Judging will begin at noon with the awards ceremony taking place at 2:30 p.m. Prizes include $500 for first place, $200 for People's Choice, and $50 for Best Decorations.
All the money raised during the Crazy Chili Pepper Cook Off will be split between the Highlands County Rotary Club and another worthy cause.
"This year 20 percent of the proceeds raised will go to St. Jude Children's Hospital," Golden said.
Cook off admission price is $5 per person (12 and under are free) and includes samples of each of the teams' recipes. Other food prices vary by vendor.
Team entries are still being accepted for the cook off; entry fee is $50 per team. Contact Golden at 253-1360.
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