Lions hope chili cook-off can return in October

Photo: McPhillips-Shinbaum was named Overall Best Chili last year. The teams hope to be able to compete again by this October.

With any luck, if you like chili, the 27th annual Lions Club Capitol City Chili Cook-Off will return to Riverwalk Stadium this October. That's several months away, but you can still look to the future and imagine what a good bowl of chili will taste like on a chilly day! The annual event came at the suggestion of then Club President Brian Harrington as a way to raise money for the Lions' Community Foundation, which supports the charities of the club.

That inaugural event years ago was held at the Train Shed and attracted 12 teams competing for the title of Best Chili in Town. More recent cook-offs have attracted upwards of 30 teams competing, which means more work for the event judges, and a larger variety of chilis for the public to choose from. Teams competing in the past have included WSFA-TV, AlaGa Whitfield Foods, United Food and Fuel Citgo, Alabama News Network, Merrill-Lynch, McPhillips-Shinbaum, MACOA, Auburn University Montgomery, and the Capitol City Club to name a few.

Teams usually compete in several classifications of chili, from standard meat chili, to vegetable chili, poultry chili, and wild game chili. Judges last year included Lashandra Warren-Barnes, Hannah Hawk, Antjuan Marsh, and Joel Hughes. Winners last year included Brantwood Children's Home, McPhillips-Shinbaum, Turkeys for Triumph, That's My Dog, and Central, etc. It's always a fun event, so put it on your calendar.