Orono Chili Cook-Off & Pie Auction
by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Terry Mulcahy
Great Chili Cook-Off...
The main street of Orono was closed to traffic on Saturday, September 22nd. The reason? To make way for the 14th annual Great Chili Cook-Off and Pie Baking Contest. This event was organized by a subcommittee of the Orono Downtown Business Improvement Association, led by Scott Story.
All of the proceeds of this event will go to help fund the 90th Celebration of the Orono Park in June of 2013.
You Be The Judge
Registration is free to the contestants and is open to anyone wishing to put their chili-making skills to the test. Winners will get $150, while runners up get $100. There was also a prize of $100 for the best decorated booth. Voters’ tickets will be used to select the people’s choice of a winner. A judge’s choice will also be selected.
A silent auction was held throughout the day which started off with the Pie Baking judging in the morning, after which we were treated to a performance from Super Dogs Central. The kids were also entertained with crafts and games led by the local Girl Guides and Pathfinders, while the adults were treated to performances by the band “Hard Tymes”. They were very good.
The Main Event...
Then came the main event. The Chili Cook-Off, and, for all of us, the testing of all the chilies and voting for our favorite. In preparation for this all WE had to do was purchase a Chili Tasting Kit for only $4.00. The kit consisted of a paper bag containing a fresh roll, a little container for the chili, a spoon, a napkin and stapled to the bag was a card which you had to drop into a numbered container after all the chili was gone to vote for the winner of your choice. Each container has the number on it and each contestant had a matching number, so if your favourite was from contestant #5, you simply dropped your card into the can with #5.on it. The tasting began at 1:30pm. By the time we had tasted all, there were so many to choose from, we had it narrowed down to a couple and went back to try them again. There was barely any left!
I can’t wait to try the Chili again next year!