Despite wind, rain and unseasonably cold temperatures, McPherson’s annual Burnin’ Down Main Chili Cook-off had one of its largest turnouts ever.
Entries in chili, soup and a new pumpkin dessert category vied for top honors among more than 260 tasters.
In addition, contestants decorated their booths to compete for a spirit award.
Sunbird Dental won that honor hands down with 146 votes. Office employees dressed in a hillbilly theme with overalls, long underwear and corn-cob pipes.
They danced to folk tunes and even engaged a nearby McPherson Pipe Band piper to a fiddle vs. bagpipe music duel.
Mandy Potter, Sunbird employee, said the employees scoped out the competition last year, had a lunch meeting and decided to go with the hillbilly theme.
Although some of the chili chefs were experts, others were venturing into the chili world for the first time.
Girls from Girl Scout Troop 50220 — Alyssa Kramer, Natalie Rowe and Brooke Miller — all teamed up to offer their own chili, some of them cooking chili for the first time. The girls dressed as football players and other sports figures for their sports-themed booth.
The Creative Hairlines crew bundled up with blankets on a couch to keep warm. They offered up their PMS soup — Potato Meat Soup.
tle breezy for Ian Ferguson and Chris Bailey from the McPherson Pipe Band, as they celebrated the day in their traditional kilts. But the two had a lamb stew, which contained a touch of red wine, with which to keep warm.
In addition to the food contests, pumpkin decorating and a touch-a-truck event was offered.
The Chili Cook-off is the main fundraiser for McPherson Main Street. Funds generated from the event go toward the support of Main Street promotions.
Ann Engel, McPherson Main Street director, said she worried the poor weather would keep people from the event, but she was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
“I appreciate everyone who keeps coming faithfully and who really looks forward to the event. Sometimes we would not make any money after we pay out the prizes if it weren’t for the sponsors, but we have come to the conclusion that this a community event we really want to do,” she said.
The cook-off recipes will be made available on The McPherson Sentinel website at www.mcphersonsentinel.com when they become available.
The cook-off winners are as follows:
First-place soup 69 votes: E-l Waner Automocion Senoritas (Mike Waner Automotive) — $500
Second-place soup 65 votes: PBT Taco Soup — $250 (Peoples Bank & Trust) — $250
Third-place soup 41 votes: Sunbird Dental Hillbilly Soup — $100
First-place chili 66 votes: Hannah Robinson “International Dee-lite Caliente Abvelita” — $500
Page 2 of 2 - Second-place chili 55 votes: Red Hot Chili Preppers – Snyder/Johnson — $250
Third-place chili 33 votes: PBT Tailgate Chili — $100
Spirit award 146 votes: Sunbird Dental Hillbilly — $200
First-place dessert: “Pumpkin Crunch Cake” — Sheryl Dosset PBT — $100
Second-place dessert: Harvest Pumpkin Dessert — Dara Dix — $50
T-Shirt $500 Main Street Mad Money — Carolyn Anguiano