Chili connoisseurs put their taste buds to the test Saturday during the beloved ChiliFest.
The annual event raises funds for the scholarships given out by the Arts Council of Plant City each year and is always held at the train depot at the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum. Attendees purchase a bowl and spoon and then go taste the concoctions whipped up by more than 20 teams comprised of members of the community.
Performances by Drawdy’s Dance School and Chris Welbon Karate Clubs entertained the attendees while they enjoyed their bowls of chili. After they ate their fill, they voted for their favorite dishes. A panel of judges assessed each offering as well.
Some chilis had unique ingredients like venison, black eyed peas and, of course, strawberries. Others stuck to the basics but added secret ingredients passed down from generation to generation. It’s as much an homage to the culinary arts as it is a celebration of the diverse history of the community.
This year’s winners were:
People’s Choice — Brick City Bricks
Mild Chili — 1st Place: Holloway Heat; 2nd Place: Brick City Bricks
Novelty Chili — 1st Place: Lawrence Valdez; 2nd Place: Brent’s BBQ
Spicy Chili — 1st Place: Holloway Heat; 2nd Place: Scooby’s Outdoors Adventures