2017-02-23 / Outdoors

Huge turnout for chili cook-off


AUBREE RICE, a Glen Lake freshman, dishes up some chili being offered by her Glen Lake Reformed Church youth group Saturday at the Glen Arbor Winterfest. AUBREE RICE, a Glen Lake freshman, dishes up some chili being offered by her Glen Lake Reformed Church youth group Saturday at the Glen Arbor Winterfest. Blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures brought near record crowds to the Glen Lake Winterfest Saturday in Glen Arbor.

“(The weather) was sheer bliss and it was packed wallto wall,” said Bonnie Nescot, member of the Glen Arbor Chamber of Commerce and business manager for Art’s Tavern.

An estimated 850 people tasted chili entries from 20 different businesses and groups participating in the cook-off. But there were others who wanted to be near the action — outdoors — enjoying temperatures that topped out at 56 that day at the National Weather Service cooperative weather station in Maple City.

“We ran out of all the materials we use to count (trays, beads and ballots),” Nescot said. “I think there was well over 1,000 people. And there were probably 50 people milling around when we were cleaning up.”


GLEN ARBOR’S Winterfest chili cook-off was so well attended Saturday that crowds could barely move on a deck at the Boone Docks restaurant where the chili was being served. GLEN ARBOR’S Winterfest chili cook-off was so well attended Saturday that crowds could barely move on a deck at the Boone Docks restaurant where the chili was being served. Chili cook-off winners, based on the votes of tasters, were Boone Docks in Glen Arbor; Pleva’s Meats, Cedar; Market 22, Maple City; the Shipwreck Cafe, Empire; and Anderson’s IGA in Glen Arbor.

Just how much chili was consumed?

“We made 100 pounds and we ran out 15 minutes before the end of tasting,” said Andrew Pleva of Pleva’s Meats.

Nescot said this year’s turnout was close to the biggest attendance year, recorded in 2013.

“We made $50 more and had 70 people fishing in 2013. But I’d say they were neck-and-neck,” she said.

Moneys raised in the fishing contest and chili cook-off will go toward scholarships for Glen Lake graduates.

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