Chili cook-off raises money for kids’ programs

It’s the perfect time of year for chili, and chili fans were in luck Saturday. Over a thousand visitors could taste all kinds of chili at the 25th Annual State Bank Chili Cook-off at Riverside Park.

Seven dollars bought visitors admission and the chance to try almost 30 different types of chili from teams competing to make the best batch.

The event raises money for public education and local D.A.R.E programs, which teaches area fifth graders how to stand up to peer pressure and make healthy decisions.

“This is a great cause to come out for,” chili cook-off judge John Haverty said. “It’s not for anything but to make chili, have fun and take care of the kids.”

Event organizers say the cook-off has grown every year since it started out in a parking lot in 1991, and has raised over $200,000 for D.A.R.E. and public education in the past 25 years.