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Waterworks Big Chili Round-Up

Mechanical bull

The Mechanical Bull was back with the Riding ChallengeBig Chili 2014

By Cathi Brandt

Waterworks Visual Arts Center

The weather was unseasonably cold outside on Saturday evening, Nov. 1, but inside the F&M Trolley Barn the 6th Annual Big Chili Cook-Off heated up the more than 350 supporters who turned out for the annual event hosted by Waterworks Visual Arts Center.

Great food, good friends, and lots of fun were the overall goals for the fundraiser this year, and president of Waterworks board of directors Traci Williams was excited about reaching all three of those goals. “The cooks have created a wide variety of chili recipes for everyone to try, by popular request the mechanical bull is back this year, which is always great entertainment, and we have a new riding challenge in place” she said during the busy evening. “This event offers so much to those who attend and in return supports one of our most valuable local resources in Waterworks.”

The 11 teams of volunteer cooks this year were Henry Alexander (The Heritage Room), Ted Blanton and John Blanton, Donny Clement (Salisbury Motor Company), Andrea Davis and Tara Metcalf (Law Office of Andrea Davis), Amy and Chris Foote (Longhorn Steak House), Mark and Mercy Lyerly, Katharine and Will Meng (Prestige Pressure Washing), Chef David Thomas (Country Club of Salisbury), Nathan Valentine (Rowan Helping Ministries) Rachel Wilson and Drew Griffith (Go Burrito) and the team of Bryan and Mary Wymbs with Christopher and Shannon McCoy (Salisbury Academy).

When entering the F&M Trolley Barn through Waterworks, each attendee received 15 tickets to vote with for their choice of favorite recipe. Co-Chairwoman Emily Blanton stated, “Giving our guests those tickets gives them the power to choose their favorite or favorites. Some people put all their tickets in one jar and others support each cook by voting and putting tickets in each cook’s jar.” When the 9 p.m. final call came for placing votes, each volunteer cook had happily emptied their crock pots, hot plates and containers.

The People’s Choice Big Chili Trophy went to the husband and wife team of Katharine and Will Meng, followed by last year’s winner Chef David Thomas, Nathan Valentine, and then the team of Wymbs and McCoy.

In addition to the riding challenge, the tally board at the end of the evening showed that Paul Bardinas had won the honor of riding the bull for the longest amount of time at 45.06 seconds.

Handling the co-chair responsibilities were local attorney and WVAC board of directors member Emily Blanton and Pottery 101 owner Cheryl Goins. This event supports Waterworks’ mission of providing diverse opportunities in the arts for all people through exhibitions, education, and outreach programs.

For more information visit www.waterworks.org

Brandt is administrative director for Waterworks Visual Arts Center.

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