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Calling all chili lovers: 2nd annual Challenge is March 2

Chili Challenge

Calling all chili chefs!

The Park Rapids Enterprise is hosting a second annual Chili Challenge as a kick-off for the Hubbard County Food Shelf food- and fundraising drive.

Last year's event raised $4,500 for the food shelf and the Enterprise hopes to top that figure.

The event will be held over the noon hour Wednesday, March 2 at the Park Rapids American Legion.

Teams, individuals, businesses, civic organizations and church groups are invited to cook up a pot of chili, recruit samplers and serve the concoction.

Many of last year's teams are returning, but new chefs are welcome.

Throw down the gauntlet to your competition.

Whacky works. We're looking to tickle funny bones and taste buds.

Like the Dorset democracy, a buck buys a vote for the coveted "People's Choice" award. The chili chefs with the most bucks in the bucket win the award.

Chili samplers will donate a dollar per dollop (small cupful) of chili. Ballot box stuffing is welcome and encouraged. Organizers are urging participants to solicit "votes" prior to the event.

The chili chef(s) earning top votes (money-wise) will gain celebrity status and a Best of Show award.

Names for the merry medley of spices, beans and meat/ poultry/ game or vegetarian are encouraged. The daffier, the better.

A "neutral" vat of chili will also be concocted by members of the newspepper staff with a freewill offering received per bowlful.

A decadent, delectable array of chocolates and pastries will cap the event, created by Enterprise chocolatiers and pastry chefs.

And Fran Gack will return to provide musical entertainment.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Hubbard County Food Shelf.

While the tone will be lighthearted, the mission holds gravity.

Food shelf usage continues to rise in the county, the recent economic downturn driving the need.

Become a conquistador of hunger!

For more information or to sign up as a beanefactor (a.k.a chili chef) contact Jean or Candy at the Enterprise, 732-3364.

Registration forms with day-of-the-event info will also be available at the Enterprise.

A "flexible" registration deadline of Friday, Feb. 18 has been set.

Raffles will be held for a hand carved loon, donated by woodcarver Bob Landrigan, and a quilt, created and donated by the Crazy Quilters.

Raffle tickets are available from Enterprise employees and will be sold prior to the event at J&B Foods.