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!

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BWL Chili Cook-Off

5 06 2009
Lines for chili at the 2009 BWL Chili Cook-Off

Lines for chili at the 2009 BWL Chili Cook-Off

I’m not going to elaborate too much, but the BWL Chili Cook-Off was kind of a disappointment.  I don’t know if it was the change in location, the nicer weather, or something else.  About half of the booths were empty by the time we got there at 7:30 and the lines were so long, we only had two samples in the 20 minutes we were there.  On top of that, we couldn’t figure out where to buy a Pepsi.  I’m not angry that I pretty much wasted the $10.  Really, I’m sad.  I’ve been looking forward to this day for a year….and I was so excited I couldn’t sleep last night. 

What I’m really interested in, and why I’m even posting this,  is your experience…especially those of you that have been going for many years.  Were things different this year?   Good or bad?





Press Release – BWL Chili Cook-Off

26 05 2009

From a Lansing Board of Water & Light press release…..

14th annual BWL Chili Cook-off will spice up the night on June 5

The Lansing Board of Water & Light will hosts its 14th Annual BWL
Chili Cook-Off on Friday, June 5 in Adado Riverfront Park.

“This a great opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate our city and
our riverfront, as well as to raise money for worthy, local non-profit
organizations,” said BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark.

New this year:
 The time: The BWL is extending the Chili Cook-off an hour. The
new hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
 The place: For the first time, the Chili Cook-off will take place on
the west side of the Grand River, in Adado Riverfront Park.
 Advance ticket sales: Advance tickets are $5 each for persons over
age 13; $2 for ages 6-12. Ages 5 and under are free.
 Tickets at the gate are $8 for ages 13 and over, and $3 for ages 6-12.
Advanced tickets can be purchased at the BWL Customer Service
Center, 1232 Haco Drive, Lansing, and at the Lansing Lugnuts Box
office, Oldsmobile Park.

More than 45 restaurants and organizations will compete for best chili
honors. For chiliheads wishing to take a “chili break”, there will be
mechanical bull rides. Current and former Michigan State University
football players are expected to try their bull-riding skills. Other activities
include a Duck Derby (A $5 ticket gives contestants a chance to win prizes
including 4 tickets to a Lugnuts Suite and 18 holes of golf at Eagle Eye) plus
games and activities for all ages. Non-chili offerings include adult beverages
and ice cream.

Two live bands will perform: 496 West and La Inspiracion.

Proceeds go to support these fine community institutions: Impression 5
Science Center, Adopt A River, the HOPE Scholarship Program, and the
Sparrow Foundation.