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Annual chili fest sizzled

  • The 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest was held Aug. 25 at Pats Peak in Henniker. More than 2,000 people attended the event. Pictured are  Henniker Selectman Chris Blombeck, Rotarian Lisa Hustis and Henniker Town Administrator Tom Yennerell acting goofy.

    The 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest was held Aug. 25 at Pats Peak in Henniker. More than 2,000 people attended the event. Pictured are Henniker Selectman Chris Blombeck, Rotarian Lisa Hustis and Henniker Town Administrator Tom Yennerell acting goofy.

  • The 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest was held Aug. 25 at Pats Peak in Henniker. More than 2,000 people attended the event. Pictured are chili makers Kerry and Lori Uhler of Hillsboro with their SweetBarn Farm chili.

    The 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest was held Aug. 25 at Pats Peak in Henniker. More than 2,000 people attended the event. Pictured are chili makers Kerry and Lori Uhler of Hillsboro with their SweetBarn Farm chili.

  • The 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest was held Aug. 25 at Pats Peak in Henniker. More than 2,000 people attended the event. Pictured are  Henniker Selectman Chris Blombeck, Rotarian Lisa Hustis and Henniker Town Administrator Tom Yennerell acting goofy.
  • The 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest was held Aug. 25 at Pats Peak in Henniker. More than 2,000 people attended the event. Pictured are chili makers Kerry and Lori Uhler of Hillsboro with their SweetBarn Farm chili.

Chili Fest sizzled

Record crowds, record heat (day and chili both), record lines, record profit! That’s what Chili Fest 2013 was all about this year.

Aug. 25 was an absolutely picture perfect Pats Peak day as the chili faithful and lots of first-timers started arriving . . . and arriving . . . and arriving. More than 2,000 people spent the afternoon with the Henniker Rotary Club to celebrate the 11th annual Fire on the Mountain Chili Fest. In doing so, you helped us bring in receipts of nearly $26,000, money that will go right back into the community, providing scholarships to high school students, supporting food pantries, sending kids to summer camp, sponsoring DECA clubs and offering grants to area nonprofit organizations.

With 32 chilis to sample, hot dogs, hamburgers and Beauford’s Southern barbecue on the menu, it was a day of feasting and festing. White Birch Community Center kept the Kid Zone hopping and Michael’s Craft Store helped the kids make foam sun visors. The Monarchs slap shot game and Fisher Cats slow pitch, along with Mascots Max and Fungo, were big hits with kids and adults both.

Twenty-one vendors brought a great mix of local crafts and specialty foods, along with community information booths. The Rotary crew sold its Chili Fest “bling,” festival beads, chili glasses and T-shirts. Jeff Dearborn and Contoocook Blues Society played two smokin’ sets, the beer flowed and votes were cast to determine the Peoples’ Choice winners.

In addition to donating to local causes, these funds also are used for Rotary International service and humanitarian projects such as disaster relief, eradicating polio and helping to make safe drinking water available in water-scarce countries.

We are grateful for the outpouring of community support we received in putting on this event. To the NEC Women’s Field Hockey and Men’s Soccer Teams, Hillsboro-Deering High School DECA Club, the Henniker and Hillsboro Fire Departments, White Birch Community Center, Pats Peak and its wonderful employees, the Henniker Rescue Squad and more than 40 community members who volunteered to sell beverages, serve chili, help with crowd control, pick up trash, set up tents and tables and do all the things that have to happen behind the scenes to make an event of this magnitude successful, we offer a mountain of thanks.

Many thanks to all our chili makers, those individuals and restaurants who devote time, money and effort in their chili creations. Without them, there would be no event.

And special thanks to our sponsors: Ayer & Goss; Back Bay Stone; Davis & Towle; Edmunds Ace Hardware; Gin Gin Restaurant; Henniker Farm & Country Store; Henniker Pharmacy; Henniker Veterinary Hospital; Morse Sporting Goods; Pats Peak; Scott Dias Custom Building; Sovereign/Santander; TDS; and White Birch Community Center; and to our media partners: Granite Quill Publishers, Lakeside Design and 96.5 The Mill. Visit chilinewhampshire.org for a complete listing of this year’s winners.

JAY BURGESS, president, and MARY KROTZER, 2013 chili chairwoman

Henniker Rotary Club

Henniker

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