Archbold, OH
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Mostly sunny

Good Weather, Food Perfect Recipe For Chili Cookoff Success

Final information and figures aren’t in, but Nanette Buehrer, director of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, is calling the Saturday, Oct. 4 Chili Cookoff a success.

“People seemed to be having a good time. The weather was, of course, wonderful. Not too hot, not too cold; perfect for chili,” she said.

Buehrer does not have a crowd estimate, “but I’ve heard some people say it was better than two years ago.”

The chili cookoff is held every other year.

The crowd was a little slim in the morning, but picked up as the day wore on. It began to slacken as the 3 pm closing time neared.

“But we had people trying to buy wrist bands (to sample chili) right up until 3 pm.”

Sold Out

At least one vendor reported selling out of two chili recipes. They stopped selling chili by the bowl so they would have enough for those who wanted to taste their offerings.

Buehrer said the Sidestreet Café, the 21-and-over area where beer was served, “went well for the first time.

“I definitely feel the cornhole tournament helped beef up the numbers” at the café, she said.

Reports say there were so many teams ready to compete, some had to be turned away.

She said the beer distributor felt beer sales were better than anticipated.

Sales of pop and water in the café area proved people “weren’t drinking pop or water,” she said.

The kids bicycle parade was also a success, but Buehrer said the bicycles were all bunched together. That made it difficult to see and take pictures.

“Next time, we may have them go around twice,” she said.

Lessons Learned?

Were there lessons learned at this year’s event?

“You always do. That’s why you listen to your community,” she said.

“We learned a lot about electricity and how much amperage is required. Jason Martz (village street department superintendent) worked hard throughout Friday and Saturday to make sure we had enough electricity,” she said.

Some of it came from outlets on the streetlights. Merchants also allowed some chili vendors to hook their extension cords inside their retail businesses.

“There are some things we can do, working with the village, to provide more electricity for future events,” she said.

Volunteers were excellent, “but we could have used more. We were putting on a party for the whole town.”

Some people approached her about having some kind of fall festival every year, she said.

A meeting to evaluate and critique the 2008 Chili Cookoff is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 9.

“People who have ideas or suggestions should call,” she said. “We want to listen.”

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