Manila Lions offer $1,000 for best chili

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The 26th annual Big Lake Chili Cook-off was the topic at the Manila Lions Club meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 5. Again this year, the Lions will be offering a $1,000 prize for the best chili. Second place will receive $500 and third place will receive $300. Cash prizes will be awarded in the senior team division.

Manila Lion President Wendell Poteet

This year's event will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, on Dewey Street in front of the Depot.

Trophies will be awarded to junior teams along with a People's Choice Award and Showmanship Awards.

President Wendell Poteet encouraged members to focus on getting ready for the chili cook-off.

Chili Cook-Off Chairman Tony Crowell and Lions voted to have four banner/signs made by Steve Lancaster. Crowell said the banners can be used for several years.

All booth rental fees, chili or craft, will be $30 each.

Chili teams will need to check in at the Depot Center at 6 a.m. Teams will be asked to prepare five gallons or more of chili. Winners will be announced at 1 p.m.

A 5K run/walk has been added to the line-up of events this year. The Big Lake Chili Cook-Off 5K run (Chili Pepper 5K) will be held beginning at 8 a.m. Proceeds from the 5k will be used to provide scholarships to graduating Manila High School seniors. To register on line for the 5K run log on to: (search for event by zip code radius) or on the event calendar page on

Participants can register the morning of Oct. 6 between 6:30-7:30 a.m. but an event tee shirt cannot be guaranteed for late registration.

"We are looking forward to the 5K run as an added event for our chili cook-off and we welcome all interested people to participate in the run," Crowell said. "We also will have a duck calling contest this year for the sportsmen. There will be a junior and senior duck calling contest."

Butch Richenbauch, world championship duck caller, will be one of the guests at the Manila Big Lake Chili Cook-off.

Entertainment chairman Leroy Douglas said anyone who would like to be part of the entertainment line-up for the day can contact him.

Forms for the chili cook-off will be available from Thomas Jaco, or Southern Bancorp.

President Poteet said the Lions will be busy over the next four weeks getting ready for the chili cook-off and he is looking forward to a successfully day. There will be lots of chili to sample and activities throughout the day.

For more information, persons can contact Crowell at (870)561-5433 or Tom Jaco at 243-4042.

The Manila Lions Club meets every Wednesday at noon in the Lions Den at Manila Elementary School.

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