This year's Mountain Harvest Festival will mark the 14th annual Chili Cook-Off in the park. The cook-off, which has been run by the Blue Sage Center for the Arts for the past eight years, is a signature part of Mountain Harvest Festival that is anticipated by many members of the community. The competition is open to any individual or organization and is broken into five categories. Each entry is judged by a secret panel of culinary experts and also competes for the coveted People's Choice award. Prizes are as follows:
Best Green Chili $50
Best Red $50
Best Meatless $50
Best Exotic $50
Best in Town $0 (for
People's Choice $150
You can taste the chili in Paonia Town Park on Friday, Sept. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. when all the cooks will be assembled, eager to wow you and win the coveted "People's Choice Award." Tasting will start promptly at 5 p.m. -- no sooner, and no later. When you purchase your taste tickets, you will be given a token of some sort to use as a People's Choice vote. Once you've tasted all the chili you would like, decide which one (or ones) you like the best and put your People's Choice votes in the colored can on the cook's table. You are allowed to cast more than one vote to a chili if you like! At the end of the evening all the People's Choice votes in each cook's tin will be counted, and the coveted People's Choice Award will be announced.
In order to taste the chili, you will have to purchase taste tickets. Prices start at two tastes for $1.
I Love Pie
In conjunction with the Chili Cook-Off, students from the Hotchkiss and Paonia High School Speech Club will again sponsor the annual "I Love Pie" contest.
Pies will be judged as: best harvest pie, best savory pie, best fruit pie, best gluten- and dairy-free pie, and best decorative pie. Pie bakers can enter each pie in only one category, but may enter as many pies as they like. The only rule is that all pies must be homemade. Bring your best pie to the park by 4 p.m. Friday for judging. Slices of pie will be available for sale starting at 5 p.m., with proceeds benefitting the speech club.