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Attendance surges for BWL’s annual Chili Cook-off

Contact: BWL Media Line | 517-342-1026

10/12/2016 3:40:00 PM

LANSING – The move to fall put a spring in the attendance of the Lansing Board of Water & Light’s 21st annual Chili Cook-off, with more than 6,000 people gathering Friday, October 7, at Adado Riverfront Park.

That’s double the crowd from last year’s event, which, like all previous Chili Cook-offs, was held on the first Friday of June.

“We’re ecstatic that moving the event to the fall, which we felt was more appropriate for a chili-based event, was met with such enthusiasm,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “It was great watching so many people have a good time, while also doing good for the community.”

Proceeds from this year’s event benefited Lansing nonprofit groups, including the Sparrow Foundation, Impression 5 Science Center and the H.O.P.E. Scholarship Program.

Friday’s event featured more than 40 vendors – including local restaurants, nonprofits, businesses and organizations – dishing out a variety of chili and salsa recipes. Awards were presented in a variety of categories based on voting by a panel of judges and attendees:

  • Best Restaurant Chili: Red Robin
  • Best Meatless Chili: City Rescue Mission
  • Best Organization Chili: Hager Fox Heating
  • Best First-Time Entrant Chili: Hager Fox Heating
  • Hottest Chili: Radisson Hotel
  • People’s Choice Best Chili: Jackson National Life
  • Best Salsa: Lettuce Live Well
  • Most Creative Chili or Salsa Name: La Senorita, “Wolverine Road Kill”
  • Most Creative Chili Booth: Plumbers & Pipefitters

Another highlight was the chili dog-eating contest sponsored by Olympic Broil, won by James Belser of Lansing, a first-time winner who downed six dogs.

This year’s Chili Cook-off presenting sponsors were Local 665 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Lansing Division of the National Electrical Contractors Association.