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Bringing the heat: Chili cookoff makes return
by Zack Steen
May 16, 2017 | 1261 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Corinth Fire Department's Sparky the Fire Pup checks out the 1924 American LaFrance fire truck. The Crossroads Museum is working to raise $16,500 in the Save the Fire Truck Campaign before the end of the year to restore and construct housing for the fire truck. / Staff Photo by Zack Steen
Corinth Fire Department's Sparky the Fire Pup checks out the 1924 American LaFrance fire truck. The Crossroads Museum is working to raise $16,500 in the Save the Fire Truck Campaign before the end of the year to restore and construct housing for the fire truck. / Staff Photo by Zack Steen
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Chili lovers can support a flame worthy good cause later this month at the Crossroads Chili Cookoff.

The tenth annual event will help raise money for the Crossroads Museum’s Save the Fire Truck Campaign when it returns Memorial Day weekend. Set for Saturday, May 27, professional chili cookers from around the country will converge on the Corinth Depot to compete for cash prizes and a ticket to the International Chili Society (ICS) World Championship.

“We have had a long relationship with the Crossroads Museum and are so very happy to finally be able to donate proceeds to them,” said cookoff chairman Steve Knight. “We will be contributing 100 percent of the chili tasting kit money to help save the fire truck.”

The museum needs about $50,000 to restore and build housing to display the historic 1924 American LaFrance pumper fire truck used by the Corinth Fire Department and on loan to the museum from the City of Corinth. The museum is currently working toward a $16,500 goal thanks to the Corinth Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau's pledge to match up to that amount if raised in 2017.

Beginning at noon on cookoff day, the public can taste test more than 15 chilis prepared by top chili cooks. The tasting is part of the cookoff’s People’s Choice Competition where the winner will walk away with a $100 cash prize.

“The People’s Choice Competition allows the public to be the judge,” said Knight. “Anyone who purchases a tasting kit can taste all the available chili and salsa. They will also be able to judge the red chili and help pick the overall People’s Choice winner.”

Tasting kits will be sold for $5 each from the Coke trailer in the Corinth Depot parking lot on cookoff day. The kit will include a judges ticket, spoons, cups and napkins.

Knight said the cookoff also welcomes local cookers to enter the People’s Choice category.

“There’s some good bragging rights if a local beats these professional cooks for People’s Choice chili,” he said. “It’s only $35 plus two gallons of red chili to enter.”

The cookoff will also feature red chili, chili verde and salsa in ICS categories. Total prize payout is around $3,000 and winners of each category advance to the ICS World Championship Chili Cookoff.

The event gets started at 10 a.m. on May 27 at the Corinth Depot and Crossroads Museum at 221 North Fillmore Street in downtown Corinth. Vendor space is available for $30 per 10x10 space. The public can also view the 1924 American LaFrance fire truck, meet Corinth firefighters and Sparky the Fire Pup and tour the Crossroads Museum for free.

Live entertainment will be offered from Hannah Johnson, 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.; Thornton, 12 until 2 p.m.; and Mark Magill, 2 until 4 p.m.

Cookoff sponsors include the Daily Corinthian, SuperTalk Mississippi, Magnolia Regional Health Center, Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Corinth, Corinth Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Gardner’s Supermarket and Roger’s Supermarket.

(For more information, contact 662-415-8641 or visit crossroadschilicookoff.com.)

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