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It’s hot: Chili competition Sept. 27

ASHLAND, Ky. — It is football season and winter will be here soon and there is nothing like a bowl of chili while tailgating or at home.

The Paramount Women’s Association in Ashland is preparing for its Sixth Annual Great Bowls of Fire Chili Fest Cook-off in the parking lot adjacent to the Paramount Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. to see who has the best recipe.

“It’s a great place to compete and showcase their chili,” Cheryl Spriggs, chair of the event, said. “And, it’s just a lot of fun down there.”

Admission is free, but each bowl of chili costs 50 cents.

“We want everyone to be able to try as much chili as they would like,” Spriggs said. “ If a family comes, it’s affordable.”

The proceeds will go to the Paramount Arts Center.

“We have given them $9,000 to $12,000 every year,” she said. “That’s a whole lot of bowls of chili.”

There will be free entertainment, science activities provided by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, a cantina, raffles and more.

The chili competitions include red chili and chili verde, also known as green chili, and a salsa contest, Spriggs said.

“The International Chili Society (defines) red chili as only meat and spices,” she said. “No beans and no pasta.”

The festival is sanctioned by ICS and all of the rules and judges are set by ICS, Spriggs said.

Other contests include “Haut Dog in the City,” a dog costume contest; Road Warrior Award for the person who traveled the farthest; The People’s Choice Award for whoever sells the most bowls of chili; a real estate agent cook-off and a media cook-off where the winners get to keep a traveling trophy for a year and have bragging rights; and a Spirit Award for the best decorated booth.

Spriggs said all contestants in the cook-off must be ICS members in good standing in order to compete. Applications can be picked up at the Paramount Arts Center box office or printed from www.paramountartscenter.com. Once completed, they should be mailed and received by Sept. 20 to Cheryl Spriggs, Chair of Great Bowls of Fire at 2816 Cumberland Ave., Ashland, KY 41102.

She also said the first place winners in the chili and salsa contests will be able to compete in the ICS World Championship.

Community vendors are welcome to reserve booths, but will not compete in the cook-off.

Anyone interested in competing or performing at the fest should contact Spriggs at (606) 831-0328.