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LibbyMt.com > News > October 2012 > 7th Annual Chili Cook-off a big success

7th Annual Chili Cook-off a big success
by Heritage Museum
October 10, 2012

The Heritage Museum's 7th Annual Chili Cook-Off took place last Saturday and a record number of samplers turned out to taste the 9 different chilies made by 8 contestants. It was a very chilly morning, but these dedicated cooks bundled up and went to work in the early morning hours so they could present their best bowl o' red at noon. Music on the grounds was provided by Beyond Help which was enjoyed by the growing crowd as the weather warmed and the noon hour approached.

The judging panel consisted of Lynn Zimmerman, Alan Gerstenecker and Shanda Jennings. Their choices for the winners were:

In the Texas Style category (no beans - just meat, sauce and seasoning) the 1st place $100 cash prize went to the Cabinet Back Country Horsemen Team of Jim Mari, Betty Phillips, Jeff Nisbet, and Will Strauss for "A Hearty Texas Chili".

A $50 Rosauers gift card for 2nd place went to Ronnie Cash, Kevin Fortner and Jennifer Fortner of Team Polaris for their "Texas Red Chuck-Wagon Chili." Montana Hutton won the $25 cash 3rd prize for his "Montana Chili" and donated his winnings back to The Heritage Museum in memory of his mother and father.

In the All Other category (which encompasses any chili ingredients outside of the Texas Style), Heidi Desch won the 1st prize of $100 cash for her "Campfire Chili". Heidi came from Kalispell to compete. A $50 Rosauers gift card for 2nd place went to Bill Thompson for his "Chili to Go". And $25 cash for 3rd place went to Montana Hutton for his "Cajun Swamp Chili". Again, Montana donated his winnings to the museum in memory of his parents.

The samplers were all invited to vote for their favorite and this year's People's Choice Award was given to Bill Thompson and his "Chili to Go". For this, Bill won a personalized, embroidered apron donated by Montana Screen Printing and Embroidery and, of course, braggin' rights. A few ballots included some notes written by children such as, "I like that the beans are smooshie in the inside." and "Chili is really good and very comfortable."

This community event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Prizes this year were donated by: Edward Jones, Frontier Communications, Rosauers, Irene Loveless Realty and DeShazer Ryan Realty. Amerigas has been a sponsor all seven years, supplying a propane tank for every contestant who requests one. The added attraction this year of the Giant Pumpkin contest and zucchini races organized and sponsored by the Avid Gardeners made it especially fun for the whole family. The Heritage Garden at The Heritage Museum raised the largest pumpkin entered, weighing in at 118 pounds, and winning the $75 first prize. Volunteer gardener Becky Goley accepted the prize for the museum. It will be used for next year's garden seeds and fertilizer. 2nd prize was won by Emma Gruber for her 93-pound pumpkin. 3rd prize went to 9-year-old Caleb Wolfe, whose pumpkin weighed in at 66 pounds.

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