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The original item was published from 10/17/2014 9:08:52 AM to 10/19/2014 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: October 17, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Junior Auxiliary hosts Chilifest at MSU Amphitheater, expects record crowd

Junior Auxiliary of Starkville will host its third annual Chilifest cook-off today from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the MSU Amphitheater, featuring $7 tickets that allow the public to serve as judges.

The event will provide a free live concert from Cowboy Mouth – a rock band based in New Orleans – and 11 contestants, all with distinct chili recipes. A ticket allows attendees to taste every dish and cast a ballot for their top three choices, which will determine the People’s Choice Award.

Moreover, the festival will feature the Little Chili Pepper Run, a 1-mile race around Engineering Row geared toward children, although anyone can participate. A shuttle will be provided to transport people to and from the amphitheater. All race proceeds, which require an additional donation, will be gifted to the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, an organization dedicated to fully integrating those with disabilities into society.

With last year’s event drawing nearly 400 people, MSU officials are expecting a crowd between 800 and 1000. The money boosts the JAS’ general fund, helping drive a variety of charity efforts aimed at children living in Oktibbeha County. To provide a small sample: The Backpack Program provides weekend food for children in need; Stuff the Bus assists children with school supplies and uniforms; and Girl Talk supports elementary-school girls within the county school system, building essential life skills such as hygiene, fitness, nutrition and self-esteem.

“Our main goal and vision is to meet the needs of children in Oktibbeha County,” said Lydia Edwards, Chilifest coordinator.

Other than People’s Choice, contestants will be judged in four categories: Flavor Savor, Aroma Coma, Best Décor and Bully’s Bites (or best taste). An overall winner – determined by all categories – will be chosen by a panel of three judges. The judges include WCBI anchor Aundrea Self, Starkville Daily News food columnist Jay Reed and MSU Wildlife and Fisheries professor Steve Demarais, a self-proclaimed foodie. The Starkville Rotary Club won last year’s competition.

“The winner receives a fabulous trophy, a certificate and, most importantly, bragging rights,” Edwards said. “Junior Auxiliary is proud to live in a community where the city and campus support our effort,” she added.

The event is sponsored by the MSU Student Association, who helped with event planning, and Music Maker Productions, who recruited Cowboy Mouth. Southern Tailgate provided tents and tables. The following people and organizations will participate as contestants:

• East Lampkin All Stars
• Drayer Physical Therapy Institute
• The Starkville Rotary Club
• OCH Regional Medical Center
• Nine-Twenty Nine Coffee Bar
• Starkville Young Professionals
• MSU Scuba Dawgs
• MSU Tau Beta Pi
• George Sherman Clothiers
• First Baptist Church Starkville
• Carol Ann and Billy Doughty

If you would like to become involved with the Starkville chapter of the Junior Auxiliary, please visit the following link:

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