Not even a birthday celebration for the entire town can stop what is a fall fixture in Poultney as the annual Chili Cook-Off, like a spicy ingredient, will be folded into the birthday celebration fun.
Streets already swelled with celebrants will mix and mingle like beef and bean as chili cook off number 22 just happens to take place during the observation of the year Poultney came to be.
The Chili Cook-Off will take place Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Main Street in Poultney.
The event is sponsored by the Poultney Rotary Club.
Cookers from around the area, as many as 30, could attend to compete for cash prizes in a number of different categories.
Those more interested in eating can purchase a spoon and tasting cup at the registration table for $8.
With spoon and tasting cup in hand patrons can make their way down one side of Main Street and back up the other side trying a variety of chili.
Many booths will be decorated and the occasional cook dons a costume when seeking the Best Theme Booth prize.
Chefs must cook at least 5 gallons of chili and patrons will be permitted to try multiple samples of each.
Although the general format of the event hasn’t changed, organizers have added a new category to shake things up a little.
A restaurant category was added last year to try to generate participation from area eateries.
Besides the newly added restaurant category, other divisions include Vermont Chili Champion (which is not open to restaurants), Best Chili by Popular Vote, Student (high school and college), Best Theme Booth, and Best Vegetarian Chili.
Last year’s winners took home more than a $1,000 in prizes and this year will be no exception.
Annually the event draws hundreds to Poultney’s Main Street on a fall Saturday.
Chili tasting is the focus of the day, but not the only thing going on it Poultney. The event typically coincides with Green Mountain College’s Family and Friends Weekend and the Farmers Market Food and Craft Fair, which will be held at the college.
The Farmers’ Market Annual Food and Craft Fair will be held on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature around a few dozen vendors selling locally grown produce and handmade baked goods and crafts.
A variety of activities, including sporting events, art exhibits and the Adventure Recreation Floor’s Annual Gear Sale, highlight some of the activities on the Green Mountain College campus.