Chili Wars, which organizers call the "rootenest, tootenest chili cook-off this side of the Pecos!,” returns Nov. 7 to the Lakeland Banquet and Event Centre to raise funds for Cops for Kids.
This is the sixth year St. Clair Shores residents Joe Evangelista and Paul Palazzolo have held the event, which has grown into the largest chili cook-off on the east side with 35 chili entries, according to organizers.
The event is expanding this year to include a salsa/dip category and “Whack-a-mole’” piñata for children.
“We are overwhelmed at how quickly Chili Wars has grown in such a short time, said Co-Director Joe Evangelista, in a release. “We take the cause seriously but Chili Wars is designed to be light hearted and fun! The fun banter between the chili cooks throughout the night is priceless!”
Participants are competing in chili categories including People’s Choice, Best Red, White, Wild Game and “Other” chilis, Best Restaurant chili, Best salsa/dip, Most Unusual Chili Name and the Mayor’s Choice. Entrants also are trying to win the Most Enthusiastic Team, Most Creative Serving Area and Best Dressed Team, or their table decorations.
“With the economy in the state it is in, St. Clair Shores Cops for Kids has an even greater demand for help this year and this is a great way for people to not only get involved but also enjoy a great night of food, fellowship, music and fun”, added Co-Director Paul Palazzolo in a release.
“Come out for a great evening with excellent food, friends, music and fun," said St. Clair Shores police officer Jeff Goode, who had organized the local Cops for Kids fundraising effort for the past six years, in a release. "You will definitely help out a child in need this holiday season.”
Chili Wars entries are open to individuals, restaurants, clubs and organizations. Rules and entry form for chili cooks is available online at www.chiliwars.com.
Space is limited to 45 entries and there is no fee to enter. Doors open at 6 p.m., with setup for entrants from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. General admission is $8, which includes samples of all chili, soft drinks, coffee and dessert. A cash bar and 50/50 raffle will also be available. Donations for St. Clair Shores Cops for kids will also be accepted.