Newton Falls – The hunt is on for the Great Chili Recipe of Ohio! Okay, maybe not quite all of Ohio, but “in all of northwest Trumbull County” would be a good starting honor…In any case, the recipe hunt is on and the hunt for cookers who think they may possess that extra-special concoction is very much in full swing as the annual Newton Falls Chili Cook-Off planning is almost at a full boil. It may not be a Food Network show, but the Chili Cook-Off has been an area staple for 24 years, which is a lot longer than most television episodes go without being cancelled (or “chopped” if you’re a true fan of kitchen vernacular).
This year the Battle Chili chapter takes the stage in Kitchen Stadium (er, the main street of downtown Newton Falls) on Saturday, October 5th and registration for contestants who wish to try their hand at mixing up the spicy ingredients is still open. Applications for vendors who wish to set up sale tables to occupy attendees while they wait for the champions to be decided are also being accepted. (The official deadline is September 21st, but if you’re one of those chefs whose M.O. is to wait until the very last minute to get your creation on the plate before the clock ticks your efforts a waste, fear not, there is a couple-day grace period for entries. Just make sure you call ASAP to ensure you’re not completely shut out of the running!)
In addition to bragging rights (as if that’s not enough of a win!), top prize includes $500 in cash with second place honors earning $300 and third place awarded $200. For non-cookers there are plenty of chances to walk away a champion with the cash raffle and Chinese auction. The real winners of the day, as always, are the first responders of Station 43 as all proceeds from the event will benefit the fire department, assisting them in buying new equipment and other necessary items which continue to help them help the community. The contest begins at 11am when entrants are allowed to start cooking. Activities for the public start at 1pm and include family-friendly features such as the Chalk on the Walk, pumpkin painting, face painting and entertainment in the form of a rotation of musicians, martial arts demonstrations and dance performances. A DJ will supply tunes throughout the day to keep the energy high! The main event, the tasting of the chili, will begin after the judging with Chili Cups sold at 3:45pm.
New this year will be the option to take some chili home as the organizers are incorporating some suggestions from previous years and are now offering containers of chili “to go” from the Firefighters’ Auxiliary tent. This homemade recipe, the Auxiliary’s own, will be the only one available for carry out. The chili made by the contest entrants for the Cook Off is, as usual, only available to sample as part of the Chili Cup purchase. The snack table will also feature standard favorites as well as some healthier options, so be sure and stop by and say hello to the ladies of the fire department!
Visit www.nffa44444.com to download an application packet including details on how to register, fees, and health department guidelines for participation. Websurfers can also check out the facebook page – just search for “24th Chili Cook Off”. Prefer non-computer related access? Call Julie at (330) 240-9268 or Patty at (330) 872-7641.
The Newton Falls Firefighters’ Auxiliary are the effective producers of this event but it would not be possible without the cast of cookers, vendors, and YOU, the interactive live studio audience!
So come on down to the main street of town to tune into this great day of free entertainment – no tin-foil-covered rabbit ears necessary! (Unless that’s the secret in the sauce, that is…)