Something amazing happens every rodeo weekend in Bonnyville, businesses from all over town gather and compete and in The Chili Cook Off. It’s an event put on by The Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce and along with being a town favourite it also brings out the competitive side of the businesses in town.
This year there will be around 20 different companies competing. What’s unique is the rather than a cash prize the winning pot of chili wins a trophy, and the title of “Most Sense-ational” Chili. Which is one of the most prestigious honours a business in Bonnyville can receive.
Patti Allen, Administrative Assistant with the Bonnyville & District Chamber of Commerce says the event get competitive, “all the businesses come out and they take it seriously, every one of them wants to win.” Allen says although it gets heated businesses really have a lot of fun, “it brings the community together.” The event has served as a lead into the rodeo for 9 years and it doesn’t look like it will stop any time soon.
Businesses have been known to bribe the judges, who change from year to year, and are usually town dignitaries or rodeo committee members. It’s unclear whether the bribing advances a business’ chili, but it does add to the fun.
Even the Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski, gets in on the fun, he and his band, “The Boyz in Black” will be performing to keep the crowd entertained while they enjoy the different chilies.
The Chili Cook-off will be held at the Sylvestre’s Source for Sports Parking Lot from 11:00am-1:00pm, today Friday July 24th.