It was perfect weather for the 2003 Big Lake Chili Cook-off in Manila on Saturday. The event drew a large crowd with 25 chili teams, entertainment, craft booths, game booths, bake sales, and more.
Big Lake Chili cook-off is sponsored by the Manila Lions Club. Tony Crowell served as this year's chairman. Ten teams competed in the senior division and 15 in the junior division.
Entertainment was provided by the band, The Calendars.
Manila Business Women sponsored a breakfast and homemade fried pie sale. They cooked almost 300 fried pies that were sold by 10 a.m.
The annual Big Lake Chili Miss Mess Pageant was held at noon and proved to be entertaining. Joe Ward was crowned Mess Big Lake Chili Cook-off 2003. This event is sponsored by the Manila FFA with freshman members volunteering to be in the pageant. FFA emcees for the pageant were Allen Harrell, Casey Hill and Coy Jackson.
Members of the Manila FFA made up 15 cooking teams and served chili.
In the Senior Division winners for the best chili were: Cotton Pickin' Hillbillies (Community Methodist Church) third place; Bethany Baptist Church second place; and MC Chili Cookers won first place.
In the junior division the Duck Masters won third place. Team members included Jessica Dew, Anthony Diffie, Walter Kimble, Jackie Parker and Brooke Brown. People's Chili second place. Team members included Jody Boyd, Stephanie White, Cory Randall, Chad Miles, Jeremy Nations, and Chrystal Carpenter. Duck Hunters' Delight won first place with teams members including Steven Moore, Jeremy Moore, Justin Hill, Casey Hill, Chris Dieu, Chris Daniels, Burt Round and Leann Pearson..
The Deer Camp Chili team won the People's Choice award.
Showmanship is part of the entertainment for the day and trophies went to the First National Bank with their Hawaiian Theme for third place; Farmers' Market won second place with their Halloween theme and the Cotton Pickin' Hillbillies won first place with their hillbilly theme.