110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Gettin' spicy Downtown
Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff Oct. 12
By Jen Horton
posted Oct 10, 2013 - 1:15:48pm
When it comes to having the best chili in DeLand, it's all about the bragging rights. And, the chili. (But mostly the bragging rights.)
Oakwood Garden of DeLand placed third for showmanship in the 2012 Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff. They are on fire for this year's event, which will be Saturday, Oct. 12.
"We're hoping to go for a bigger title this year," said Lisa Seal, activities director for Oakwood Garden. "We're excited."
Their team will be the Toxic Avengers, and will serve flash-burn chili.
Participating in community events is a win-win, Seal said.
"It gives our team a chance to get together and get to know the community," she said. "And, we involve the residents. We'll have a bus load of residents come to the event, and it's nice for them to see that they are represented."
The competition will be fierce, though.
Two-time champions E Sciences are coming back to defend their 2011 and 2012 titles.
"We are entering again," said Linda Harrod, administrative assistant for E Sciences. "We do anticipate winning."
"We have a great chili," Harrod said. "A very unique chili."
Competition aside, the event is a favored festivity in Downtown, and, it helps two great groups.
Proceeds from the Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff benefit both the MainStreet DeLand Association, and the West Volusia Historical Society, and the cookoff is a major fundraiser for the historical society.
“The event benefits the historical society, but it also benefits Downtown DeLand by bringing people to the area,” said event chairwoman Andrea Woodham. “We do want to increase membership, and having an annual event is great exposure for the historical society. But, I think this event benefits all of DeLand, I really do.”
This year, it's going to be better than ever.
Wayne Carter, Executive Director of MainStreet DeLand, said there were already more than 20 different chili cooks, and that “if someone wanted to make a little chili, even at this late time, we can shuffle things around and get them in.”
With more than 1,000 attendees, Carter said the chili cookoff was shaping into a really nice event.
There will be more than 20 chilis, all trying to earn votes in one of two categories: the open competition, which is the judging of the chili; and the showmanship competition, which is the judging of the booth, including decorations, costuming and showmanship.
All chili chefs are required to provide a minimum of 3 gallons of chili; however, with larger crowds expected, they are encouraged to bring more than 3 gallons.
Great Bowls of Fire will also feature vendors, entertainment and children's games.
The 13th annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, on East Indiana Avenue in DeLand.
Admission costs $10 for adults, and $3 for children ages 4-12. Children younger than age 4 are admitted for free.
For more information, visit the Great Bowls of Fire website, greatbowlsofchilicookoff.com, or the Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff Facebook page.
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