The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County is pleased to announce the winners of the 17th Annual Chili Cookoff on O’Neal Plaza in historic Downtown Douglasville, on Saturday, Oct. 19. This year the popular annual fundraiser was attended by more than 4,000 participants, slightly more than last year. The event was held in conjunction with the Douglasville Rogue Runners Moonlight Run and following a new fundraising event, “Pedal for your Palate,” a bike race supporting the Food Pantry and presented by the Douglasville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Coordinated by former CAC Board President Allen Culpepper with assistance from CAC staffers Cristhtian Perez Molina and Whitney House, our panel of celebrity judges – Jerry Frost, Marge Frost, Josh Gibson, John Sell and Mike Tuttle – deliberated with great care while judging which of the 25 chili cookers would be awarded the coveted “Best Tasting” prize. This year’s award was presented to first-timer Carole Parks Catering for their delectable barbecue chili served with macaroni and cheese; City Council candidate Mike Miller placed second with a delicious hearty chili; and another popular first-timer West Georgia Technical College’s Culinary Arts Institute team led by chef Stephanie Pavich Adams took third place for its excellent bourbon cocoa flavored chili.
CAC Board members Jerry Leath, Linda Britt and Marcita Scharnhorst were assisted by The Patch’s John Barker in judging the “Best Decorated Booth” competition with top honors also going to Carole Parks Catering for their beautiful candle-lit and spider web draped haunted house booth; second place was awarded to the elegant black and silver booth, shared by Mayor Harvey Persons and his wife Sherrie with County Chairman Tom Worthan and his wife Linda; and third to City Councilman Dennis McClain’s Halloween classic booth. A frequent prize-winner Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel won the highly competitive award of “Most Sold” again this year with Carole Parks Catering in second place and first-time competitor West Georgia Technical College’s Culinary Arts Institute taking third.
The Children’s Halloween Costume Contest, coordinated by CAC office manager Chris O’Shaunnessy, proved more popular than ever, and our panel of judges –CAC Board member and Arts Education Committee Co-Chair June Keen, Presenting Sponsor Stephanie Bleakley, and Douglasville’s first lady, Sherrie Persons – faced tough decisions in awarding prizes for most creative costuming, but every child was a winner at the 2013 Chili Cookoff! Prizes were awarded in three age groups: for the kindergarteners and younger, the prize-winner was Kaitlyn Bishop who came as “Dorothy” from the Wizard of Oz, for elementary school students, Erin Boggs appeared as a “lady police officer,” and for middle and high school students, Alex Worrell was the stand-out as Monster High’s “Skelita.”
The proceeds from this sold-out family fun event benefit the Cultural Arts Council and its educational outreach programming including arts in after school initiative, artists in our schools program, and spring and summer art camps; the monthly exhibition program at the Cultural Arts Center; and the CAC’s popular free spring and fall concerts series, also presented on O’Neal Plaza in Douglasville’s historic downtown.