Chili Cook Off and Chili Run Back by Popular Demand

By Sue Moore

The Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, kicks off its day with a 5-kilometer chili fun run at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 6 at the entry to Clark Park. The run is sure to raise appetites for runners and the public. They are invited to return to the big tent at the corner of W. Prairie and Michigan Avenue, for some warm chili, starting at 11 a.m., according to event chairperson Brian Pitts.

This annual event in February was cancelled for a few years, said Pitts, chamber president. “We were happy to bring it back by popular demand in 2015. It makes for something special in the dead of winter for the community and is a fundraiser for the Chamber. Whatever the weather, the tent will be warm and there will be live music for entertainment.”

A taste of each vendor’s chili will be sold at 50 cents a taste, with hot dogs, bottled water, and snacks also for sale by the Chapman Nazarene Church crew. Local vendors competing in the chili cook-off include Rise & Dine, The Vault, Taco Bob’s, Jaspare’s, and the Cultural Arts Center. Mandy’s Candies expects to provide coffee and baked goods.

The 5k chili fun run is new this year, taking the place of the Frostbite Run that was started in 2009 by Ann Maltby. It will be much more informal this year with no registration fee, although donations will be accepted. The race will go throughout the village and anyone can enter by signing up on Friday, February 5 at Tanya’s Girl Garage until 8 p.m., or Saturday morning before the race.

To keep folks entertained, there will be outhouse races with teams of five competing for the silver plunger that the chamber is offering. The outhouses were built a few years ago by the village’s Department of Public Works and have survived the zaniness, although several suffered flat tires in 2015, Pitts said.

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