The Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County is delighted to announce that the annual Chili Cook Off at O'Neal Plaza will be on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 6 until 9 p.m. The event is sponsored by John Bleakley Ford. The Cultural Arts Council’s fund-raising event is held in conjunction with the Rogue Runners Moonlight Run and following many events throughout the day in the third annual “Octoberfest” supported by the City. Last year more than 4,000 people joined in this festive evening of good food and family fun as many local Douglasville celebrities including the Mayor, County Commission Chair Tom Worthan, political candidates, local bankers and many business leaders presented the community with different flavors of chili to savor.
In 2011 the coveted “Best Tasting” prize was presented to a Chili Cook Off newcomer, Team Spectra, for its spicy offering, the “Best Decorated Booth” was awarded to long-time Chili Cook Off participant Gold’s Gym, and with frequent past winner Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel as first runner up and Brighton Academy as second in this competitive category. In many ways, the “Most Sold” award represents the people’s choice; and Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel won the prize again last year. All of the 2011 winners are returning this year as the competitors to beat during the sold-out event this year.
In addition to the 2012 presenting sponsor John Bleakley Ford, Chili Cook Off participants are: the elected officials and candidates County Chair Tom Worthan, City Councilman Dennis McLain, County Coroner Randy Daniel, DC Tax Commissioner Todd Cowan, Bob Snelling, Kimberly Alexander and Micah Gravley; both the Douglas County Republican and Democratic Parties; individual cookers competing as “Team Sweet Heat,” “Twilight Chili,” and “The Wrecked ‘Em Cheelee Freaks;” and local businesses and organizations including Brighten Academy, Creekside Pines Senior Community, the Douglas County Lions Club, Douglas County Sentinel, Douglasville Gymnastics and Cheerleading (with its “Flip into Fall” team), Estes Detailing and Fleet Washing, Master Tech Auto Repair, Metro Garage Tours and L & W Insulation sharing a booth, Miller Hightower Attorneys at Law, Omega Learning Center, Sit Means Sit, and Southern States Insurance.
In the spirit of the season, there will also be a Children’s Halloween Costume Contest. elebrity judges will select winners from three age groups (Kindergarteners and younger, elementary schoolers, and middle and high school students). Each child in costume will receive a prize. The costume contest will be judged at 6:30 p.m. in front of the O’Neal Plaza stage. All children wearing costumes receive goody bags, which will be available at “Drinks, Hot Dogs and Desserts” booth, staffed by the 4-H and other youth groups coordinated by the County Extension Agency, near the fountain throughout the evening. Adults are encouraged to join the family fun of our annual downtown costume party.
The 4-H booth, serving hot dogs, cider, desserts made by CAC volunteers and soft drinks donated by Coca Cola, earns funds in support of its programs and other youth projects coordinated by the Douglas County Cooperative Extension Office. All other proceeds support exhibits and classes at the Cultural Arts Center, educational programs in schools, and CAC’s popular spring and fall concerts series, also presented on O’Neal Plaza in downtown Douglasville.
“We are so pleased to have John Bleakley Ford as our presenting sponsor for the Chili Cook Off this year,” said CAC Board President Jerry Leath. “Their generosity and public spiritedness is and will be much appreciated by the Cultural Arts Council and the community we serve -- more than 43,000 people including 8,000 children and young people every year.”