Chili from area restaurants will be available at the 25th annual Chili Cookoff, sponsored by WNB Financial, on Saturday, February 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Winona Middle School. This year’s cookoff, which will be emceed by local radio personalities from KG95.3, promises to be an exciting family event with entertainment provided by the Genbu-Kai Karate Group. There will also be a kids’ craft table and face painting provided by the Winona Public Library. All proceeds benefit Ready Set School, which will begin its annual fundraising campaign with a short program at 11:50 a.m.
The Chili Cookoff will feature mild and spicy chili from area restaurants, judged by a panel of celebrity judges including Doug Irwin (Island City Brewing Company), Eileen Moeller (City Council member), Eric Schoh (director of athletics at Winona State University), Gabe Glidden (afternoon host on KG95.3), John Alexander (owner of the Winona Mall), John Casper Jr. (Winona Daily News editor), John Riley (Hot Sauce Morning Show host on KG95.3), and Lezlea Dahlke (director of the Winona Public Library).
The chili will also be available to the public — all-you-can-eat for $10! Everyone is invited to judge the chili to help determine the winner of this year’s coveted Public Tasters’ Choice Award. In addition, there will be a $1 hot dog meal (hot dog, chips, and a drink) and other food and beverages available for purchase. Currently, 13 businesses have entered the chili competition, including Bluff Country Co-op, Bub’s Brewing Company, Brewski’s Pub and Grill, Culver’s of Winona, Ground Round, Jefferson’s Pub & Grill, Kwik Trip Store #746, Riverway Learning Community, Signatures Restaurant, Steak Shop Catering, Sugar Loaf Senior Living, Wellington’s Pub and Grill, and Winona Health Catering.
Ready Set School was created to ensure that all Winona County children have the basic and necessary supplies to better succeed in school. Up to 35 percent of children in the county may come from families that lack the financial resources to provide school supplies for their children. Ready Set School is there to help. For more information, please call Ready Set School Director Mandi Olson at 507-429-3362.
Chili Cookoff guests are encouraged to bring school supplies for donation to local schools and the Winona Volunteer Services Food Shelf. Suggested items include glue sticks, spiral notebooks, Crayola crayons, number-two lead and colored pencils, and new or gently used backpacks. Please look for the donation barrel at the event.