Chili cookoff ready to heat up weekend

PARKERSBURG – The third annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff is set to spice things up at Point Park Saturday.

The event, from noon to 3 p.m., is being put on by the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley and the Parkersburg Area Jaycees.

“As of Thursday, we had 39 entrants signed up,” said Chamber President and CEO Jill Parsons.

Those entering represent more than 20 groups, businesses and individuals who are vying for the top spot with the judges and the top spot with those who are attending.

The mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna, North Hills and Belpre will be participating in their own chili competition that will be judged by members of the Jaycees. Others will also have the opportunity to taste the mayors’ chili.

The cost is $15 a person at the gate Saturday.

“For that, you can try all of that chili,” Parsons said. “If you can get through 39 tastes, you will be pretty full.”

There will be a People’s Choice Award where those attending can vote for their personal favorite. The winner will receive $250. Also, a judge’s panel, made up of local representatives, will blind taste all of the chili without knowing whose is whose. The first-place winner of that will get $250.

The band Hit Parade will be performing throughout the event.

Advance tickets will be available through today at the chamber office with $10 for chamber members and $12 for the general public.

More than 300 tickets have been distributed through the advance sales and the sponsor complimentary tickets.

The ticket price includes food, but not beverages, which will be available for cash purchase. Pepsi products will be available and the North End Tavern will be providing beer for sale.

Sunny skies are in the forecast. If rain would hit, the competition could be moved into the new winter Farmer’s Market Building by the floodwall.

People are invited to bring lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the entertainment after sampling the chili.

Children, 10 and under, are free with each paying adult.

Organizers are hoping about 500 people attend.

For more information or to seek advanced tickets, call the chamber at 304-422-3588.

Those signed up to participate in the cookoff are:

Businesses and Organizations

* BB&T

* Camden Clark Medical Center

* Grand Pointe Conference Center

* Huntington Bank

* Junior League of Parkersburg

* Kiger Insurance

* My Owl Post/Origami Owl

* Parkersburg Area Jaycees

* Parkersburg Fire Department

* Parkersburg News & Sentinel

* Peoples Bank

* Pepper Star

* Pickering Associates – Bayou Buties

* Rotary Club of Parkersburg

* Sam’s Club

* The Willows

* United Bank

* WesBanco – All American Bankers

* * *

Individuals

* Anchors Away (Shawn McColligan)

* Anna and Pap’ (Michael Earl)

* Awesome Anderson (Jonah Anderson)

* Hometown Cook (Dan Sheppard)

* Infamous Parkersburg Alers A (Russ Rice)

* Infamous Parkersburg Alers B (Russ Rice)

* Local Cook (JE Kirkpatrick)

* Thunderpants (Jeremy Bartlett)

* Uncle Dan’s Famous Chili (Dan Stemple)

* We’ll Give You Chilis 1 (Greg Arnott)

* We’ll Give You Chilis 2 (Alicia Wright)

* Wonkey Donkeys (Paul Miller)

* * *

Restaurants

* C J’s Italian Kitchen

* Shorty’s Pizzeria

* Spirit World Smoke Shak

* The Blennerhassett Hotel

* The Galley Restaurant

* * *

Special Mayors’ Competition added this year

* City of Parkersburg – River Park Chili

* City of Vienna – Hillbilly Chili

* City of North Hills – Chili Challengers

* City of Belpre