Though the drizzle and chill of last Thursday's weather didn't match the nice weekend days of AppleFest 2016, Thursday evening's low, gray skies did provide the perfect environment to enjoy lots of homemade chili and support the community's volunteer firefighters.
Hundreds of people turned out in support of their local volunteer fire department at the 15th annual Five Alarm Chili Cookoff.
This year, there were 65 contributions of chili from the best chefs up and down the length of Surface Creek Valley. The drizzly weather seemed to make all the homemade delights taste even better.
The panel of chili judges had a tough job picking the best of the best from all the great chili recipes this year. However, after the votes were tallied, organizers reported the following winners:
Best Red Chili -- Jim Ferganchick;
Best Green Chili -- Laura Earley;
Best Hot Chili -- Marcy Peterson;
People's Choice -- Judy Mason.
No one looks forward to a house call from the skilled firefighters of the Cedaredge Volunteer Fire Department. But if such an event ever does occur, a homeowner can know the local firefighters are well-trained and well-equipped professionals.
Funds raised by the annual chili cookoff go to help pay for the expensive personal protective safety equipment the local volunteers need to fight structural fires in their important jobs of keeping local property and families safe.