Local library hosts chili cook-off

Event held for community members at the Bowlby Library
Video courtesy of WCTV, Riley Holsinger

“It’s a beautiful day for chili,” Chili Cook-Off contestant Mark Hayes said.

Arguably the best time for chili is when the weather is snowing or it is colder outside. Saturday’s weather followed that recipe as the Eva K. Bowlby Public Library held its Chili Cook-Off event.

Despite the snowstorm and 20-degree temperatures, community members were not scared away and packed Bowlby’s new kitchen area.

“I was a little worried this morning when we came in and saw how much snow there was,” Eva K. Bowlby Public Library’s Executive Director Kathy McClure said. “We did have some people show up.”

Greene County Commissioner Mike Belding was in attendance and was impressed with the turnout.

“We were surprised,” Belding said. “We got here about at 11:30 [a.m.], there’s cars in the parking lot and the room is full and there’s four contestants vying for some prizes for who has the best chili today.”

The contestants, including Hayes, put their different kinds of chili out for participants to judge and later award engraved kitchen utensil prizes to the best chefs.

“I think there’s an opportunity for everybody to enjoy their favorite chili today,” Belding said.

The cook-off was the second event the library held Saturday. Holding events for the community to engage with at all ages is something at the forefront of the library’s mind.

“We’re really excited to be able to get people into the library, so we try really hard to get events that people would be interested in,” McClure said.

“It’s exciting especially to come to a community library like this and see people excited about interacting with the library as a community,” Belding said. “It’s a great combination of bad weather, chili and the library.”