"I think this year's festival turned out wonderful. The weather cooperated and the day turned out very nice," said Amy White, Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. "We sold 650 tasting kits and we could have sold 200 to 300 more."
The 2008 Chili Cook-Off featured over 25 chili and salsa competitors and many other arts and crafts booths.
Community members who participated in the annual event had an opportunity to browse the assortment of booths, taste piping hot chili and spicy salsa and watch a variety of entertainment. The event offered performances by the Monett Bootkickers, Rosenbach Warrior Training Branches Family Martial Arts Center, Cassville gymnastics and Four in a Corner.
A pet parade, sponsored by Cassville Veterinary Clinic, featured over 30 pets.
"We had 36 participants, almost three times more than we anticipated," said Dr. Chip Kammerlohr, of Cassville Veterinary Clinic. "A large number of people and pets arrived too late to register. Thanks to all the wonderful entries."
Pet parade winners included: Krystiahna Good and her alpaca, Princess Diana, best overall; Courtney Rasmussen and Lily, first place dog; Sabrina Moore and Prissy, best costume; Della Stouder, Bleau Belle and Windi Lou, smallest dogs; Kalyn McGee and Gibson, largest dog; and Morgan Boley and her South African Hissing Cockroach, Boo, most unique.
Awards were also presented to area businesses, organizations and individuals who participated in the festival by cooking chili and salsa and decorating their booths using the western theme.
The 2008 Chili Cook-Off spirit award was presented to Slinkard's and RPM's, who created Slinkard's Mexican Saloon. Barry Electric won the best decorated booth award for Wild Willie's Saloon.
"People really had fun with this year's theme," said White. "We don't have any ideas for next year's theme, so we welcome any input."
Emmanuel Baptist Church won the people's choice chili award for the fourth consecutive year. Emmanuel Baptist cookers also demonstrated spirit by creating the Emmanuel Gang Hideout. The people's choice salsa award was presented to A&D Travelers Wildcat Baseball Team.
Salsa winners included: Red Rose Inn, first place; and Cassville Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star, second place.
Chili winners in the corporate division were: Crowder College, first place; the Barry County Republicans, second place; and Barry Electric, third place.
Chili cook-off individual winners were: Cruisin' for Christ Christian Motorcycles Association, first place; Barry County Search and Rescue, second place; and A&D Travelers Wildcat Baseball Team, third place.
Other salsa and chili cook-off competitors were First Christian Church, Holy Cross Church, All Faith United Methodist Church, Jan Fiscus, the Butterfield Fire Department, Cassville Cub Scouts, Art Gallery and Studio, Commerce Bank, Jim Watkins, Brad Taylor CPA, Repairs Unlimited, Fasco, Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury, Barry County Care Center, Freedom Bank, A-One Pump Service and Cassville Motor Inn.