Cherry Grove Volunteer Fire Department would love to have you celebrate its 18th Annual Chili Festival with them. Is the cabin fever getting you down? Well, bring the whole family for a day of chili tasting, homemade baked goods, lots of fun, and countless door prizes donated from many businesses throughout Warren County and surrounding areas to get rid of those winter blues. The festival will be held on March 20, Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cherry Grove Fire Hall. We are located six miles up Cherry Grove Road which is located off Route 6, turn across from Johnson's Tire Center, in Weldbank.
Our five chili cook judges this year are local celebrities and business owners led by our tried and true head judge, Glenn Carlson.
There is no entry fee to compete as a chili cook in our festival. Each year we have new cooks entering to compete against some of our faithful cooks from past festivals. Our judges will be lending their tasting expertise to decide the Grand Champion and determine the best cooks in each category. Trophy plaques will be given to all the winners. If you would like to try your hand at cooking, call (814) 688 5291 for an entry form. Spaces will be limited, so get your entry form sent back ASAP.
Time for a taste
There is no admission charge for our visitors either. Door prize tickets can be purchased and are drawn all day long until the prizes are gone. We usually average about 100 door prizes each year. We have great support from area businesses; some give us financial support while others give us great donations for door prizes. In the past, donations for door prizes have been gift certificates, food, blankets, knives, a roaster, theater tickets, and oil changes, according to department spokesman Zane Johnson.
There are three categories one can enter: Texas Style, Open Style, and Junior Open Style - so there will be a large variety of tasty chili for everyone to sample. Chili-tasting tickets are 25 cents each. You can buy a spoonful or a bowl of chili from all your favorite cooks. Some are hot, some sweet, and then there is everything in between. When you're done tasting you can cast your vote for your favorite chili with your People's Choice ballot. At 3:45 p.m., the tasting tickets will be collected and will determine the winners for the People's Choice Awards.
T-Shirts are given to all of our cooks and will also be for sale to the public. The shirts sizes range from small to XXX-large and display our 18th Annual Chili Fest logo on the front with the name of our Grand Sponsor, Johnson's Tire Service, on the back.
Our kitchen is open too, so if you don't like chili you can still come and enjoy the afternoon while supporting our fire department. We will have hotdogs, pop and chips plus our home made baked goods. Our community does a great job of donating scrumptious baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cakes, candy for our sale.
All profits from this event go to purchasing new fire and medical supplies and maintenance for our fire department. Our station is currently in the process of equipping our K-9 Search and Rescue Command Unit that provides search and rescue services throughout the county. Your support really makes a positive impact on our ability to take care of not only our community, but surrounding communities as well, Johnson said.
We look forward to seeing you there.