Contestants not the only winners at ‘Utah State Chili Cook-Off’

ST. GEORGE — The first “Utah State Chili Cook-Off” on Saturday brought contestants from all over Utah and beyond in a showdown that will send the first place winners to the next level of competition in Reno all the while supporting local military veterans and their families through the event’s proceeds.

Utah State Chili Cook-Off sanctioned by the International Chili Society who provided the judges for the event, St. George Town Square, St. George,, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Utah State Chili Cook-Off was sanctioned by the International Chili Society, who also provided the judges for the event, St. George Town Square, St. George, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The Utah State Chili Cook-Off was sanctioned by the International Chili Society and hosted by American Legion Post 90. The cook-off included three spicy competition classes: red chili, chili verde and salsa, with over $1700 in prize money on the line, in addition to trophies and T-shirts.

Saturday’s first place winner in each category will go on to compete in the International Chili Society World’s Championship at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno Oct. 21-23.

Participants and attendees enjoyed live entertainment, food, a children’s parade, inflatable bounce houses, soap box derby races and more during Saturday’s event. Car Guys Care supported the cause by presenting a free “Show and Shine” car show, displaying vintage beauties throughout the parking lot.

Red Ford Mustang showcased during Car Guys Care's "Show and Shine" car show at Utah State Chili Cook-Off, St. George Town Square, St. George,, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Red Ford Mustang showcased during Car Guys Care’s “Show and Shine” car show at Utah State Chili Cook-Off, St. George Town Square, St. George, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Proceeds from the chili cook-off will be used by American Legion Lester Keate – Post 90 to help military families in the community, including providing food and basic needs for veterans and their families during troubled times, scholarships for military children or making sure the Ritual Team is present to perform the historic 21-gun salute at the funeral of one who served.

Pam Palermo is the Post 90 events coordinator who organized the cook-off. She is also a member of the Post 90 Ritual Team.

“Performing the 21-gun salute at veteran’s funerals brings dignity and honor for the one that served,” Palermo said, “and the ritual itself also helps the family to heal and to find closure.”

Palermo said that helping military families is a commitment that they take very seriously.

Volunteers running American Legion Post 90 Booth, Utah State Chili Cook-Off, St. George Town Square, St. George, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Volunteers running American Legion Post 90 booth, Utah State Chili Cook-Off, St. George Town Square, St. George, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The American Legion Lester Keate – Post 90 has a long-standing tradition of honoring the United States military and dedicating themselves to community service. Post 90 is the oldest veterans’ service organization in Utah and the largest in Washington County.

The post takes its name from Southern Utah native Daniel Lester Keate, who served in the Marines during World War I. He died in battle near Champagne, France, in 1918 at age 23 and is buried in the St. George City Cemetery.

For more than 75 years, members of Post 90 have lent their time, skills and passion for lifelong service to many vital community projects, including the Dixie Air Force junior ROTC, Dixie College ROTCCivil Air Patrol and many others.

The post’s mission statement uses a widely-known yet anonymous quote:

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America.

Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins — a supporter of American Legion Post 90 — was also on hand at the event with a booth providing information to the community and answering any questions about the services provided by the veterans home.

“The American Legion has given to the veterans home so often, in large and small ways, and have made donations and given their time,” said Vie Van Noy, Southern Utah Veterans Home director of community relations and recreation. “So we wanted to make sure we were here to serve and also to be a resource for those here today.”

Community attends , Utah State Chili Cook-Off, St. George Town Square, St. George,, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News
Community attends Utah State Chili Cook-Off, St. George Town Square, St. George, Utah, May 14, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Utah State Chili Cook-Off Winners

Salsa:

  1. Jodi Wiseman, Nevada
  2. Mary Parker, Colorado
  3. Chuck Harber, California

Chili verde:

  1. Wayne Hoppal, St. George
  2. Bob Wiseman, Nevada
  3. Jodi Wiseman, Nevada

Red chili:

  1. Al Henry, Colorado
  2. Ed Huffman, Colorado
  3. Darci Carlson, Utah

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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