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Festival Will Heat Up New Martinsville

By Staff | Oct 27, 2008

The weather has turned colder and consequently many people are turning to steaming bowls of flavorful concoctions to keep them warm.

Luckily the ninth annual Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Chili-Fest to be held on Main Street in New Martinsville Saturday will be offering scrumptious bowls of the finest spicy chili in the valley.

Beginning at noon various groups, individuals, businesses, and restaurants will be dishing up bowls of their special recipes in hopes of taking home accolades. Official judging is based on flavor, texture, consistency, blend, aroma, and color. But the people’s choice is perhaps the most coveted award as the people who take the time and care to taste the various chilis vote on their favorite. The WCCC also gives prizes for the best decorated table and best costumes.

For those who don’t have the time or inclination to man a booth of their own, the “one bowl” entry is returning for a second year. Those who wish to participate in this category need only to register and show up with enough chili for the judges to get a good sampling on the day of the Chili-Fest.

The chamber also has a taste-off where people are invited to enter any items with a hot and spicy base (Mexican, corn bread, salsa, pepper spreads, relishes, etc.)

If you’re not a cook, but you are a consumer, you might want to check out the hot pepper eating contest, sponsored by Uncle Bunks, and the hot dog eating contest, sponsored by Mims Gallery. The latter boasts a $100 prize.

But there is more to the annual Chili-Fest than eating. The day kicks off at 11 a.m. with the fourth annual 5K run/walk and kids fun run. The race that benefits Phi Theta Kappa at West Virginia Northern Community College begins in front of Christy’s Auction Mall and proceeds through the streets of beautiful downtown New Martinsville.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. the fee is $10 in advance and $12 the day of the race for the 5K. The half-mile fun run cost is $5. There will be awards in many age groups and refreshments for participants. For more information or to register call WVNCC at 455-4684.

For those looking for a more genteel way to start off their festival experience, the royalty contest will begin in the Lincoln Theater at 11 a.m. Children ages two through four will compete for the titles of Little Miss and Mrs. Chili Pepper while those ages five to seven will vie to be called Chili Prince and Princess. The grand prizes are savings bonds.

Musical entertainment will be offered by Hundred Miles from Nowhere twice during the afternoon: 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. on the front porch of the courthouse. That is also where the day will conclude at 4 p.m. with the announcement of daily contest winners.

Also, Community Resources, Inc., will be hosting an Energy Awareness Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of city hall. The event will promote energy efficiency and fire safety to the community. Applications for the Weatherization program will be available for income eligible residents of Wetzel, Tyler, and Pleasants counties. Each completed application gets the person entered into a door prize drawing to be held each hour.

They will also be providing free smoke detectors and have a smoke house on location provided by the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department to educate children on the importance of fire safety. For more information call 304-455-2701.

Other events throughout the day include a car and bike cruise-in, charity auction, crafts, exhibits, live radio remote, children’s games and activities, walking tours, rock wall, farmer’s market, balloon art, and car seat safety exhibit.

For more information about this year’s Chili-Fest, stop by the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street or call (304) 455-3825.