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2024 Chamber Chili Cook-off

Thursday night was a sizzling evening at the Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-off! Fierce competitors brought their best chili and refreshing drinks to the table.  We had a fantastic panel of judges who sampled way more chili than I would be able to consume!  With criteria including Flavors, Presentation, and Uniqueness, the judges selected a delicious salsa verde and pork chili from Big Jon's Dogs and More to award "Best Chili." The "Best Booth" category had several additional criteria including Team Spirit, Costumes, Decor, and a signature beverage.  It wasn't hard to guess during setup that the team who brought the 20-foot inflatable igloo was probably going to win Best Booth, but there were so many creative presentations that I know it was a difficult decision for our judges.  The winner of the "Best Booth" award went home with Americold.   Last year we introduced a special prize for "People’s Choice" based on attendee feedback and continued that award this year.  The Belvidere Police Department won the hearts of attendees with a complex chili that included smoked pork along with a pinata filled with adult treats.  Brave individuals had to wear the "Drive Sober" glasses while trying to break open the pinata to show what an alcohol impairment can do to a driver.

We had a great time and are already looking forward to next year!

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