Winterfest to offer Chilly Chili Cook Off

M. Kate West
Chester Editor

Bit by bit, word is getting out about the line-up of Winterfest activities being sponsored by the Chester-Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce, the business community and local service organizations.

To date, two events have been announced for Saturday, Jan. 15, the Almanor Basin Chapter of the American Red Cross will host an 8 – 11 a.m. breakfast at the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge in Old Town Chester.

Later that same day, residents and guests alike may visit the first Lake Almanor Chilly Chili Cook-off, from 1 – 4 p.m., in the parking lot of Plumas Bank.

Attention chili masters and connoisseurs: any type of chili may compete; meat or vegetarian, beans and no beans, red or green.

To combat the chill that is likely to surround the Lake Almanor Chilly Chili Cook Off, the chamber is supplying freestanding fire pits and s’mores to warm up guests.

The event will feature music and the chamber’s fundraising liquor wagon. Manned by chamber volunteers, chili cook-off guests 21 years of age and older may purchase beer, wine and mixed drinks.


Entry and awards

The Chester-Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce is soliciting teams and tasters to come on out for an afternoon of good fun.

For applications and contest rules, interested families and organizations, register online at or call 258-2426.

The contest will offer three awards: Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice and Chili Showmanship.

Judge’s Choice: A panel of chamber members will judge all entered chili in a blind tasting and rate the entries on aroma, consistency, color and taste.  From that tasting, the Best Overall Chilly Chili will be selected.

People’s Choice: All teams will serve chili to anyone who contributed $5 for a tasting kit, with a ballot card. After sampling the entries, participants will vote for their favorite chili. The team receiving the most votes will win the trophy.

Chili Showmanship: This category is likely to be the most interactive and entertaining for guests and cook off participants alike. The award for this category will go to the team with the best-decorated booth, costumes, presentation and the most entertaining.

Different from other cook-offs, the contest allows participants to prepare ingredients and pre-cook offsite.

What is cooked in advance must be from scratch, no pre-made commercially canned chilled is allowed.

Proceeds from the event will support Chester-Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce projects.

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