Press Release – BWL Chili Cook-Off Sees Record Crowd

5 06 2009

I guess this is why the lines were ridiculously long.  Great for the charities, but it made for an unpleasant experience.  From a press release….

 Sunny Skies Bring Record Crowd to 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off
More than 12,000 attendants and 2,000 gallons of chili served

LANSING, Mich. – Superb weather and an true love of chili attracted thousands of chiliheads to Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing this evening for the 14th Annual BWL Chili Cook-Off. More than 12,000 people attended the annual event, which benefits the Sparrow Foundation, the Hope Scholars Connections Program and Impression 5 Science Center/Adopt-A-River.

“A combination of perfect weather, fabulous turnout and the fact that there were more vendors than ever before made this year’s Cook-Off one of the best yet,” said BWL Communications Director Mark Nixon. “It was really great to see so many people come out to support three great charities.”

Fifty different Lansing-area restaurants, non-profits, businesses and amateur chefs combined to make approximately 2,000 gallons of chili. Vendors competed in nine different categories in hopes of being awarded “People’s Choice Best Overall Chili.” The People’s Choice award is determined via ballots given to event attendees. For all other chili categories, local celebrity judges determined the winners.

This year’s judges included: Lansing Police Chief Mark Alley, Lansing City Council Member Kathie Dunbar and City Council President Derrick Quinney, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope, radio personality Walt Sorg, Impression 5 Science Center Board President Jeff Maloney, as well as Andrea Price and Elizabeth Hernandez of Sparrow Healthcare.

This year’s winners are as follows:

People’s Choice – Best Overall Chili
Gold Ladle: Lansing Lugnuts

Silver Ladle: Lansing Fire Department

Bronze Ladle: Harrison Road House

Best Restaurant Chili
Gold Ladle: Red Robin

Silver Ladle: Harrison Road House

Bronze Ladle: Applebee’s

Best Corporate Chili
Gold Ladle: The Gallery at MSU

Silver Ladle: Balloon’s Galore

Bronze Ladle: Marine Corps League

Best Meatless Chili
Gold Ladle: Soup to Nuts Bistro

Silver Ladle: Texas Road House

Bronze Ladle: The Firm

Best Amateur Chili
Gold Ladle: Shannon Shavers

Mo’ Hotter, Mo’ Better – Hottest Chili Award
Gold Ladle: Mayfair Bar

Silver Ladle: Lansing Teen Challenge

Bronze Ladle: Paramount Coffee

The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau awarded the Red Hot Hospitality Award to the CVB member organization that was most fun and welcoming.

Red Hot Hospitality Award:

Gold Ladle: Dublin Square

Silver Ladle: Jackson National Life

Bronze Ladle: Beggar’s Banquet

Most Creative Chili Booth
Gold Ladle: Jackson National Life

Silver Ladle: Harrison Road House

Bronze Ladle: The State Room

Most Creative Chili Name
Gold Ladle: The Firm

Silver Ladle: Radisson Hotel

Bronze Ladle: The State Room

In addition to the chili, this year’s Cook-Off included live performances from Lansing bands 496 West and La Inspiracion. Attendees were also able to burn off their chili calories on a mechanical bull and an inflatable obstacle course and climbing wall.

The BWL would like to thank participating restaurants, businesses, sponsors and thousands of Chili Cook-Off attendees for another great year!




2 responses

5 06 2009

This was the worst chili cook off of the last 3 years that I have attended. There was less space, more people, and tons of issues with booths closing running out of chili and serving cups. This new venue needs some serious reorganization or there needs to be a return to the Riverfront.

5 06 2009

I agree. I wont go back next year if its going to be like that. Granted it had rained last year so there were less people- but still it was horrible today!

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