Big Lake Chili Cook-off draws crowd
Manila Lions Club hosted the 21st annual Big Lake Chili Cook-off on Saturday, Oct. 2. The weather was perfect, the crowd was large, entertainment was good, and there was a variety of chili to go around.
In addition to the chili, there were game booths, inflatables, prizes, crafts, face painting, drawings, and fun throughout the day.
Lion Tony Crowell served as chairman for the event and extended his thanks to all of the sponsors and the participants for making the day successful.
Among the participants this year were Manila Fire Department, American Legion, Calvary Baptist Church, Unearthly Threads, Wayne Wagner for Mayor, Joni Isebell for Mayor, Upward Bound Basketball and Cheerleaders, Manila Cheerleading Squad, Woodrow's Chili, Kay's Rock and Roll Chili, Harvest Fellowship, Cub Scout Pack 32, Hot Rod Chili Cookers, Ascent Health Services, Charlie's Chili, Southern Style Chili, ANC Journey of Hope for Emily, FFA Chili, Souls Harbor Bake Sale, Huffman's Red Hot Razorback Chili, Bethany Baptist, Manila High School Choir, CityFyed Hillbillies, Democrat Booth, Southern Bancorp Chili, and Manila Veterans Booth. Manila Business Women served breakfast at the Depot and provided several games for the children. The Manila High School Leo Club had five junior chili teams participating.
The Manila Depot Museum was celebrating its 100th anniversary and was open to the public.
Political candidates took the opportunity to meet area citizens as they visited throughout the day.
Lion Crowell told the participants judges are not members of the Lions Club and explained how the chili is scored for judging.
"It was close," Crowell said. "The top three teams were within 16 points of each other."
Winning first place and $1,000 was Big Kay's Rock and Roll Chili. Second place and $500 went to Hot Rod Chili Cookers and third place and $300 went to Woodrow's Chili.
People's Choice for the second consecutive year went to Huffman's Red Hot Razorback Chili.
Showmanship Trophy went to the Manila Fire Department.
In the junior division Leo team Number 3 won third place and Leo team Number 1 won second place. Leo Team Number 2 won first place.
Joni Isebell held a drawing for a patio fire pit set with Frank Eldridge winning.
Winner of the flat screen television given away by the Manila Business Woman was Freddy Vandivor.