Super heroes to battle at Chili and Salsa Cook-off

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Kelsey Roney, a Cassville High senior, prepares to send her winning logo to the Cassville Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will use the logo on T-shirts and printing material for the Chili and Salsa Cook-off on Oct. 25. Jason Johnston reporter@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville High School senior wins logo contest

Superheroes will swarm Cassville on Oct. 25 to do battle at the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Chili and Salsa Cook-off.

Superheroes are the theme of this year's event, which Chamber Director Mindi Artherton said will feature many kinds of awards.

"It's really kind of up to their imagination in how [participants] prepare for [the superhero theme]," Artherton said. "We will have an award for most spirited. So, that's going to go to whatever booth that gets behind the theme. They will wear costumes, they'll decorate their booth, they'll be yelling and cheering whenever somebody votes for their chili (or salsa)."

The public starts judging each chili and each salsa at noon.

The chamber sells tasting kits for $2 each, Artherton said. Every kit has a spoon, a napkin, a little cup to sample the participants' chili or salsa, colored beads that represent a different prize and an instruction slip. Red is people's choice for chili, blue is best decorated booth, white is most spirited booth and yellow is people's choice for salsa.

Each category winner -- determined by the community -- wins $50. The top chili and salsa cookers each win $150 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place.

The chamber partnered with Cassville High School business classes, which were taught by Shelley Henderson and Chelsea Powers, to create an official logo for the cook-off, Artherton said. The chamber looked at 11 logos. Seven Cassville students made one logo each, and two students made two logos each.

Kelsey Roney, a senior in Henderson's advanced computer applications class, said she created the winning logo in about two weeks of class days.

The logo looks like the Superman emblem, but it has a red "C" instead of the traditional Superman "S." It has the cook-off name along the red border with "BAM!," "KAPOW!," "ZAP!," and two lighting bolts surrounding the emblem.

Roney said she came up with the idea for the logo after Atherton sent an email of a picture that she kind of liked.

"I noticed that it looked like a comic book," Roney said.

The logo will go on T-shirts and print material for the cook-off, Artherton said. The chamber also awarded $50 in Cassville Cash to Roney, which she can spend at any local chamber member business.

The event also has a pet parade hosted by the Herrin Animal Hospital. Participants must line up with their pets at 9:30 a.m. on 6th Street between the chamber and the Cassville Democrat offices. The parade starts at 10 a.m. and goes around the square.

If they are by themselves, they need to be 16 or older, said Sara Crass, office manager and technician at the hospital and parade organizer. Usually, a parent comes with the children.

She has seen dogs, cats and gerbils being dressed up with their owners, she said. Last year, one of the hospital's clients dressed a 90-pound German shepherd, Zella, as a princess.

"She had a tutu and a crown and everything," Crass said.

She is looking for the parade to grow this year, she said. The parade usually has 15 to 20 pets. The main awards are best trick, best costume, best smile and best bark.

"I think we are going to do longest legs this year because we had a big ole great Dane last year who was fun," Crass said.

The prizes include Vectra 3D flea and tick medication, bags of food and gift certificates, she said.

The inaugural pumpkin decorating contest will add a new feature to the event this year.

The chamber will allow 12 participants: six people to carve each pumpkin and six people to decorate each pumpkin, Artherton said. The chamber will award $50 in Cassville Cash to each division winner. Lane Truman, who will be the master of ceremonies during the cook-off, will auction off each pumpkin. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the city's Christmas lights, she said.

The local Sonic Drive-In will also host a chili dog eating contest, with the winner receiving $100.

Each event booth are $40 and an additional $10 for electricity, she said. Booths open at 8 a.m.

"We would love to have craft booths, chili and salsa cookers, informational booths," Artherton said.

Bands for the cook-off are 221 Band and Plymouth Junction. The Cassville Police Department makes sure the square is closed off to vehicle traffic. The cook-off usually ends between 2 and 2:30 p.m.

Cook-off participants can pick up a packet containing rules and regulations and a vendor application from the chamber at 504 Main St.

For more information, people may contact the chamber at chamber@cassville.com or 417-847-2814.

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