Lions Club continues tradition with chili cook-off

Paula Glover

Copyright, July 23, 2000

Used with Permission
Troop 101 Home Page
CHEYENNE - Continuing a tradition that is at least 30 years old, the Cheyenne Lions Club held its annual Chili Cook-off Saturday, with 15 entrants vying for public approval.

The event combines good chili with showmanship, so Boy Scout Troop 101 decided to go all out in the showmanship category, with some of the boys dressed in vintage scouting uniforms and a pup tent set up.

The era of the uniforms went from the 1930s scouting outfit that Josh Hudson, 14, wore, to a 1960s uniform that Alan Eickbush, 14, wore, Leland Duck, 13, modeled a 1970s uniform. Matt Schafer, 15, started off in a modern-day uniform and ended up in a 1960s uniform for a troop that was oriented towards the Air Force.

While some of the 15 contestants took the showmanship seriously, others were just there to cook chili.

Bob Logan, of RayBob and Company Chili, said the event is well-attended because contestants in the red chili division also compete in Chili Appreciation Society International, accruing points for further competition.

Two panels of judges scored samples of chili based on aroma, consistency, red color, taste and after taste.

But the general public got a chance to get in on the action as well, voting for the People's Choice Award, with the scoring based on which booth received the most money donated for the samples.

People also had a chance to purchase bowls of chili, chili dogs and nachos as a fund-raiser for the Lions Club. Chili that included beans wouldn't have qualified for the contest, which must be made without any fillers, such as beans or pasta.

Bob Chalstrom, a long-time Lions Club volunteer, said this year's event was typical of previous years, both in numbers of contestants, and folks who wandered through the event to sample the chili.

"The crowd picks up after the parade and drops off when the rodeo starts," Chalstrom added.

Results of the competition were not available Saturday.