By Starrla Cray
MONTROSE, WAVERLY, MN Do you like to cook (or eat) yummy chili?
If so, you’ll want to attend this year’s Montrose Waverly Chamber of Commerce/Montrose Lions Club chili challenge Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Montrose Community Center (200 Center Ave. S.).
The first-place chili winner will receive $125, second will get $75, and third will receive $50. A $50 people’s choice award will also be given. Top chilis will also receive a trophy.
Chili judging will start at 5 p.m., with a 3:30 p.m. setup time for contestants. After the judging, there will be a general public chili feed sponsored by the Montrose Lions, which includes chili, salad, bread, crackers, and dessert.
A judging kit and dinner is $10 per person, or $25 per family. The cost for competitors is $15.
The event will also include door prizes, live music, a dance, and a cash bar.
For information, contact Jim Tourville at (763) 675-3121.
“Last year was our first time having a chili challenge,” Tourville said. “It’s a fun way to showcase local talent.”
In addition to the general public, area restaurants are also welcome to compete in the chili challenge.
Like last year, chili will be cooked prior to the contest, and brought in roasters or crock-pots.
Participants receive tables to set up their chili, and they can bring tablecloths or other decorative items, if desired.
Local mayors and fire chiefs will be the official judges for this year’s competition.
Anyone who purchases a $10 judging kit (which includes a cup, spoon, ballot, napkins, and other items) will also be able to select their favorite chili.
“We invite them to experience as many as they’d like,” Tourville said, adding that part of the fun is hearing people compare the different types of chili.
Last year, Tourville won the people’s choice award for his “cowboy chili,” featuring pinto and chili beans, a thick sauce, and chopped sirloin.
A few other creative chili dishes included white chili, with chicken and white beans; beef chili, with hamburger and steak; and harvest chili, with onions and green peppers.
The proceeds from the chili challenge will benefit the Montrose Waverly Chamber of Commerce and the Montrose Lions Club.
Each year, the chamber awards two $500 scholarships to students from Waverly and Montrose. Additionally, $1,000 is given to local organizations in need.
Saturday, May 19, the chamber is planning a craft and community fair at Railroad Park and Village Hall in Waverly. The chamber is also sponsoring events at Waverly Days, Saturday, July 14.