14th Annual Chili-Fest Offers Fun For All
The 14th annual Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Chili-Fest enjoyed a sunny, yet windy, weather and many attendees with smiling faces and full bellies in Saturday.
There were 15 chili vendors and 10 other exhibits/vendors in downtown New Martinsville. Also, children were treated to various activities including inflatable attractions, the bubble wagon, and pumpkin rolling.
Of course there was also the annual costume parade. Winners in that event were as follows. Ages birth to two: first, Jessie Coulter; second, Adam Ellison; third, Sydney Scott. Ages three to four: first, Bailey Slie; second, Abby Brady; third, Isaiah Brady. Ages six to nine: first, Lily Giovinazzo; second, Mara Finley; third, Holden Amos. Ages 10 to 12: first, Isabell Shaw; second, Sophia Jones; third, Autumn Joyce.
The chili competition, obviously the main attraction, offered awards in several categories. Business/professional: first, Amanda Jo Ice Scholarship Fund; second, Rollin’ Smoke Roadside BBQ; third, EZ Care. Restaurant: Rollin’ Smoke Roadside BBQ. Individual: first, Linda Goddard. Cookoff: first, Les Hunt; second, Homeplate Bistro. Peoples’ Choice: Amanda Jo Ice Scholarship Fund. Taste off: Shooters Saloon. Table Decorations: Homeplate Bistro. Costumes: Homeplate Bistro. While not a competition, Sue Miller won the gas card offered by the chamber, drawn from those who filled out a survey.
Musical entertainment for the day was the Battle of the Bands in the Lincoln Theater. Those winners were first, Beauty and the Beast; second, Keith Stephens; third, Emily Irizarris.
The first event of the festival took place on Friday night in the Lincoln Theater-the Chili Pepper Royalty Contest. Royalty was crowned in five categories. Lil Miss Chili Fest, ages four to six: princess, Michlynn Lenea Farrell; runner-up, Alyssa Stillwagoner. Junior Miss Chili Fest, seven to nine: princess, Mallory Dennis; runner-up, Joellen Witschey. Miss Chili Fest, ages 10-12: princess, Alaya McKelvey; runner-up, Claire Miller. Miss Teen Chili Pepper, ages 13-15: princess, Maggie Hornbeck; runner-up, Brooklyn McCalsim. Miss Chili Pepper, ages 16-21: Summer Jeffers. Most Photogenic was Maggie Hornbeck and Miss Congeniality was Ruth Anne Pingley. The royalty led the costume parade on Saturday and will ride in the chamber’s Christmas Parade to be held Dec. 7.
The annual Chili-Fest was kicked off by a 5K Walk/Run in New Martinsville, and despite the cool air, many people showed up at the festival and participated.
Winners included, Top Runners: Overall Male, Matt Quinet; Overall Female, Makenzie Walker; First Place Male 14 or younger, Zerihun Biran; Second Place, Silas McKeever; First Place Male 15-18, Nathan Arnold; Second Place, Cole McGee; First Place Females 15-18, Sophia Herrick, Second Place, Mandi Theodoro; First Place Females 19-29, Makenzie Walker; Second Place Sarah Shepherd; First Place Females 30-39, Jessica Bennett; Second Place, Nancy Quinet; First Place Males 40-49, Debra Bennett; Second Place, Celeste Benson; First Place Males 60 and older, Larry Smith.
Top Walkers: Overall Male, Austin Pyles; Overall Female, Jeanne Barnes; First Place Males 14 or younger, Austin Pyles; Second place, Isaac Keller; First Place Females 14 or younger, Hope Biran and Taylor Britton (tie); First Place Males 15-18, Nathan Arnolds; First Place Males 19-29, Dan Akers; First Place Females 19-29, Rosanna Havgat; Second Place, Miranda Brown; First Place Males 30-39, Joshua Otto; Second Place, Tim Pugh; First Place Females Females 30-39, Anna Barrick; Second Place, Claire Cannizzaro; First Place Males 40-49, Brian Croasmun; First Place Females 4-49, April Pyles, Second Place, Sherry Croasmun; First Place Females 50-59, Betty Hartline; Second place, Brenda Weekley; First Place Males 60 and Older, James Fitzsimmons; Second Place, Terrence Zuber; First Place Females 60 and Older, Jeanne Barnes; Second Place, Tina Neil;
Kid’s Fun Run: First Place Females seven or Younger, Hannah Biran; Second Place, Sienna McKeever; Third Place, Sydney Quinet; First Place Male seven and Younger, Jason Arnolds; First Place Female 8-12, Nardos Biran.
Photos by Lewie Osborne, Amy Witschey,
and Bruce Crawford