Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Optimist Club to hold chili cook-off

The Optimist Club of Unicoi County will hold its first-ever Optimist Club Day and chili cook-off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Unicoi Optimist Camp.
The event will feature live entertainment throughout the day, as well as games and local vendors. All proceeds from the cook-off will go toward renovations to the camp.
The main event of the day is the chili cook-off. All recipes must be cooked on-site with a start time of 11 a.m. and an end time of 3 p.m. Participants must be 18 years old and must cook a minimum of two quarts of chili prepared in one pot for the competition.
The contest will be judged by area professionals who will determine the winning recipe based on flavor, texture, consistency, blend of spices, aroma and color. The entry fee for the contest is $25, and the grand prize is $250.
According to Optimist Club President Shelly Marotta, the contest is an opportunity for members of the community to come together and have a great time.
“They bring all the fixins and cook it right there,” she said, adding that contestants can also make enough to sell during the event, if they wish. “We would love to get people from Unicoi County, Johnson City, Kingsport and Elizabethton to participate. We want to expose the camp to the public and let people know it’s still here and in operation. It’s a great place for family reunions, overnight retreats, and even weddings. Our lodge is just beautiful, and we’ve had several weddings and receptions here.”
Marotta added that local vendors are invited to attend and set up for the day for a fee of $15. School clubs and church youth groups may set up at no charge.
Brian Keener’s The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Show, touted as the Southeast’s No. 1 Elvis tribute show, will begin at 3:30 just after the chili cook-off. Plans for the day also include a horseshoe tournament and a ping-pong tournament.
A full set of rules and entry forms can be obtained by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or contacting Brenda Penland at 306-8132 or Marotta at 677-5353.