Sick of the cold weather, and need a reason to get out of the house? Need a break from the day-to-day hassle? Bring the whole family for a relaxing day of chili tasting, homemade baked goods, and countless door prizes donated from many businesses throughout Warren County. The festival will be held on March 16, a Sunday afternoon, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Cherry Grove Fire Hall, six miles up Cherry Grove Road (off Route 6, across from the grand sponsor, Johnson's Tire Center, located in Weldbank).
There will be no admission charge for visitors. Door prize tickets can be purchased and will be drawn all day long until the prizes are gone. They usually average about 100 door prizes each year. There has been great support from area businesses; some give financial support while others give great donations for door prizes. In the past, donations for door prizes have been gift certificates, food, blankets, knives, a roaster, themed baskets, theater tickets, and oil changes.
The five chili cook judges this year will include teachers and some other members of the community. This panel of judges will be led by our tried and true head judge who is been there for us for years.
With Trophies are Todd Garris, second open class; Mark Johnson, third open class; and Jay Fitch, first and people’s choice open class
Rusty Barr on left and Todd Ace, right
There is still time to sign up to be a cook! There is no entry fee and each year there are new cooks entering to compete against some faithful cooks from past festivals. Judges will lend their tasting expertise to decide the grand champion and determine the best cooks in each category. Trophy plaques will be given to all the winners. If you would like to try your hand at cooking, call (814) 688 5291 or check us out on Facebook CherryGrove FireDepartment - for an entry form. Spaces will be limited, so get your entry form sent back ASAP.
There are three categories one can enter into - Texas Style, Open Style, and Junior Open Style. Chili-tasting tickets are 25 cents each. You can buy a spoonful or a bowl of chili from all your favorite cooks. Some are spicy, some sweet, and then there is everything in between. When you're done savoring all that chili you can cast your vote for your favorite chili with your People's Choice ballot. At 3:45 p.m., tasting tickets are collected and the winners for the People's Choice Awards are tallied.
T-Shirts are given to all of our cooks and will also be for sale to the public. The shirts sizes range from small to XXX-large and display the new 21st Annual Chili Fest logo on the front with the name of our Grand Sponsor, Johnson's Tire Service, on the back. We have once again teamed up with the Sheffield High School art class to design our shirts. This year's artwork was done by Julia Vile, who will be one of our judges for the festival.
Ther kitchen will be open too, so if you don't like chili you can still come and enjoy the afternoon while supporting our fire department. We will have hotdogs, pop, and popcorn plus our homemade baked goods. Our community members do a fantastic job at donating scrumptious baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cakes, candy for our sale.
All profits from this event go to purchasing new fire and medical supplies and maintenance for our fire department. Last year was a very exciting year for us, as we purchased our first ever brand new fire truck. Your support really makes a positive impact on our ability to take care of not only our community, but surrounding communities as well.
We hope you will visit us this weekend. We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at the Cherry Grove Fire Hall, according to coordinator Zane Johnson. "We're looking forward to celebrating our 21st Annual Chili Festival with the community."