Fall weather means chili time

Five years ago Charlotte Correia organized the first Chili Cook-Off in Exeter and the event has grown ever since.

"I think we had between 6,000 and 7,000 people there last year and that was in the pouring rain," she said. "The rain brought some excitement because people had to rush to finish cooking."

The year's Chili Cook-Off will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13. While it is too early to forecast this year's weather for the event, it is never too early to get your raffle tickets which are on sale now at participating sponsors. Businesses selling tickets will have an 11-by-14 inch Budweiser flyer displayed in the window. This year proceeds will benefit Exeter Youth Football and the Exeter Chamber of Commerce.

Cash prizes will again be given to winners. First place chili will receive $750, second will get $450 and third will receive $300. Best Booth and Best Costume will receive $250 each. Correia said the most memorable booth and costume she could remember was Tom Smith who dressed like an Old West barkeep and several women dressed as saloon girls made chili behind a wooden saloon bar built for the event.

"People go through a lot of work to haul all that stuff down there," she said. "It is quit a production for some."

Judges will receive a 16 ounce bowl of chili to taste in the back room of the Exeter Chamber of Commerce at about 2 p.m. The Exeter City Council members will again dutifully serve as judges for the chili. After judges receive their bowl, chili will be given out to attendees until it is gone. All winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Raffle tickets will have a place on the bottom for people to vote for People's Choice.

"I think it is neat when the community comes together and is excited about an event," Correia said. "I also think the downtown merchants, who are our sponsors, see a lot of business from the people who come to the event."

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Volunteers for the event are always welcome. For more information call Charlotte at The Stag at 592-7177.

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