Planning for the 9th annual Simon Kenton Chili Cook-off Festival and Hoopla Parade began on March 11 and the committee is working to make the Sept. 26 event the largest and best ever. Led by co-chairs Beth Adair and Bill Bean, the committee includes Amy Knotts, Mary Collier, Jeremiah Stocksdale, Jeff Heiberger, Sandy Gonzalez, Audra Bean, Linda Monroe, Dwight Paul, Sandy Loffing, Vince Gonzalez, Amy Armstrong and Alyssa Dunham.
A new item this year will be a “dunk tank” and the Urbana Fire Division has agreed to fill the tank, then sound their sirens to alert the cookers to fire up their kettles and start cooking.
The Hoopla Parade, featuring the Dayton Antioch Shriners and a pet parade, will begin at noon. Dwight Paul, chairman, welcomes groups, bands, clubs and neighborhoods to participate. If interested, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Following the parade, contests and live entertainment will be on stage throughout the day. Live entertainment will be provided by “The Temps” from Springfield. Contests will include the Jalapeno-eating contest, Suck, Chew and Blow contest and Best Salsa contest. The popular corn hole tournament will begin at 2:30 p.m. and a dedicated children’s area with the balloon lady, face painting, clowns and bouncy house guarantee a day of fun for the entire family.
It’s time to tweak favorite chili recipes and enter to win the grand prize of $1,000. Entry forms are available online at www.chilicookoffofurbana.com and by calling Beth Adair, 614-440-7560. Vendor applications are available online for those wishing to join the fun. Deadline for applications is Sept. 12 or until spaces are filled.