Soon the pots were all simmering and steaming, and the smells were so inviting!
Gravel Bottom Brewery and New Holland Brewery sponsored the event, and not only provided their best craft beer for everyone but also entered the chili contest (Nick Roelofs and Jake Britton, respectively).
The other ten contestants were as follows:
Ada Grill/Schnitz (Jeff Hugger)
Ada Pour House (Rob Aldridge)
Blimpie's (Paul Jones)
Cody Dalton (Individual Entry)
Grillin' Guys (Randy Joppie)
Pauly's (Pauly Faba)
Rick Godinez (Individual Entry)
Rix Stix (Rick Paine)
Saburba (Sarah Andro)
The Community (Billy Norden)
The judging began around 11pm and our five honorable judges took their job seriously (from left to right ~ Todd Veenstra, Jim Stoutjesdyk, Jon Shaner, Paul Lee, and Gregg Palazzolo).
Mugging with the judges and co-scorekeeper afterward.
Soon the public arrived and parade watchers poured into the parking lot after the 10 minute Christmas parade passed by. Besides the chili, one could also obtain a Pronto Pup, and always the beer.
Hard Cider was also on hand, courtesy of Sietsema Orchards, gluten free since 55 B.C.
Happy people were everywhere.
The live music was great and the band performed excellent covers of popular music, which thankfully wasn't heavy on country. Here they are getting ready and checking last minute emails.
The crowd loved them.
It was finally time for the winners to be announced. Along with the judges' choice, there was also a popular, people's choice, both with top-notch trophies to be awarded.
The suspense was palpable.
The Judges' award went to the Grillin' Guys who earlier had been broadcasting from the event.
And the popular vote went to Billy Norden, from The Community.
We got lucky with the weather this year and there's talk of moving the event to perhaps the less risky fall. The parade was a great lead-in and brought in many people but we could just as easily have been in a blizzard. So cheers to what should be a great annual event, whenever it's held, and thanks to everyone who participated!