The people of Surface Creek Valley have a special relationship with their volunteer fire department.
These firefighters are ones who take time away from their families to help keep the whole community safe.
One way the community says a big "thank you" to the firemen is at the 16th annual Five-Alarm Chili Cook-off, a fundraiser that is the official beginning of AppleFest. The annual event this year is Thursday, Oct. 5, at the firehouse.
Trophies for the hottest, best red, best green and people's choice will be awarded.
Chili donations will be accepted in the afternoon prior to the 4 p.m. judging. The serving line opens to the public at 5 p.m.
There is no entry fee for the chili judging contest. Those contributing chili for the event may have their chili entered in the contest or not. Complete rules and entry forms are available at the chamber office and at Cedaredge FoodTown.
This hugely popular event takes lots and lots of donated chili so that everyone who wants to attend, sample the fare, and make a donation to the firefighters will get a tasty treat.
So, the alarm has sounded and a call has gone out to all chili chefs in the valley: Get your entries (and especially your non-competing donations) of chili ready.
This annual event is sponsored by the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce to benefit Delta County Fire Protection District #3, serving the Surface Creek Valley and the Cedaredge Volunteer Fire Department. Funds raised will go toward the purchase of personal safety and protection equipment for firefighters to use when battling structure fires.
If you can't attend the event, monetary donations specifically for firefighters' personal safety equipment can be sent year around to PO Box 804, Cedaredge, CO 81413.