Top chili on the line

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It seems that February has become chili month in Chilton County.

The Senior Connection will host its third annual chili cook-off and health fair on Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its location in Clanton.

Residents and judges will have the opportunity to sample each of the contestant dishes and grade them based on multiple aspects, such as taste, texture and appearance.

What separates Senior Connection’s event is that it is much more than just a chili cook-off, as a health fair and door prizes will also be included in the festivities.

Various health organizations will have booths setup with representatives on hand to answers any questions that the public may have.

“We’re not just here to have fun, but also to educate the public when it comes to health,” Senior Connection Director Vanessa McKinney said.

According to McKinney, St. Vincent’s is expected to provide health screenings.

Prizes will be awarded to the top rated chili entries, with $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place.

The winner earns bragging rights and gets to keep possession of the trophy until next year’s competition.

“Several hundred people usually come out,” McKinney said. “It always seems to be a fun time had by all. We’ll have something for everyone.”

Wilma Easterling’s chili has won the competition each of the past two years. The first year she was both the judges and the popular pick.

However, she will not enter this year, which leaves the door open for someone else to take over the title.

“These ladies can make some good chili,” Easterling said. “I’m looking forward to just sitting back and tasting it.”

The trophy stands two-feet tall and has chili peppers around the top, as part of its design.

“It is a good-looking trophy,” Easterling said.

Anyone interested in entering their chili recipe and making a run at the trophy can register by stopping by Senior Connection and filling out a form.

The Senior Connection is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a $25 entry fee is required.

The event has become one of Senior Connection’s marquee fundraisers. Admission to attend the event is $5.

The Jemison FFA hosts its chili cook-off on Feb. 4, which allows residents an opportunity to warm up from the cooler weather on back-to-back weekends.