Chili from area restaurants will be available at the 24th Annual Chili Cookoff, sponsored by Winona National Bank, on Saturday, February 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Winona Middle School. This year’s cookoff promises to be an exciting family event with food and entertainment provided by Greg Taylor on guitar and vocals, as well as the Just for Kix Tiny Kix and Wee Petite dancers. There will also be a kids craft table provided by the Winona Public Library. All proceeds will benefit Ready Set School, which will kickoff 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, which will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges including Amber Mlynczak (WAPS Teacher of the Year), Greg Evans (Merchants Bank), Jason Larson (Big Brothers Big Sisters), Jim Baertsch (Miller Scrap), John Wojcik (Leighton Broadcasting), Missy Schneider (Wenonah Creates), and Terry Thrune (W-K School).
The all-you-can-eat chili will also be available for just $10, and the public is invited to judge the chili to determine the winner of this year’s coveted Public Taster’s 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: Betty Jo Byoloski’s, Bluff Country Co-op, Bub’s Brewing Company, Chartwell’s at Winona State University, Ground Round, Jefferson’s Pub & Grill, Kwik Trip Store #746, Riverway Learning Community, Signatures Restaurant, Steak Shop Catering, Sugar Loaf Senior Living, Winona Health Catering, and the Winona Senior High School.
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 Winona County may come from families that lack the financial resources to provide supplies to their kids. Ready Set School is there to help those children. For more information, please call Ready Set School Director Jessi Darst 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, No. 2 lead and colored pencils, and new or gently used backpacks. Please look for the donation barrel at the event.