The Alpine Kiwanis Chili Cook-off & Car Show was held Sept. 22, at the Alpine Community Center and the Alpine Elementary School parking lot.
“We have 13 vendors and 15 chili cooks,” said Pene Manale, immediate past-president of the Alpine Kiwanis, “We also have 30 volunteers and 20-25 Key Club and Boy Scouts helping out. Estimated attendance is 500-600.” A beer garden and seating sections rounded out the offerings for the attendees.
Three Kiwanis chapters combined their efforts to organize the event— Alpine, Jamul, and Santee. The event ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the winners announced at 2:30 p.m. The best chili awards went to Make Chili Great Again/Head East Salon – third place ($50 cash prize), Alpine Country Feed & Seed – second place ($100), and VFW Post – 9578 – first place ($200). The best decorated booth went to Out of This World that also had individuals dressed as Darth Vader, tank troopers and other Star Wars-like characters roaming the lawns of the A.C.C.
The Ideas band played covers and their own songs such as “Zombie Twist” that had youngsters like 3-year-old Kinley Rauk dancing.
Kinley Rauk’s mother, Samantha said, “This is our third year attending. I tried ten chilis and I liked the Out of the World chili.”
“We’re here to share our chili, not here to compete,” said Barons Market’s Bob Ring. Ring brought vegetarian chili, white chicken chili and black angus chili which they typically serve at their market.
Elk chili, meat and beans with different types of meat, chili with Italian sausage were just a sampling of “secret ingredients” past winners and competitors offered up as their secret to a winning chili. No specifics of how much or what spices used was disclosed. Each team was required to cook a minimum of seven gallons of chili which was cooked on site.
Richard Edwords, with Kamps Propane, was on hand to provide frisbees to kids. As were other vendors selling products or handing out free items.
Kiwanis held to the motto of “Vote early-vote often.” For $10 a customer received 20 chili tasting stickers. Additional stickers could be purchased as well. Each sticker, or blue dot, was placed on a voting sheet. Chefs in the Alpine Country Feed & Seed booth could be heard saying “Blue dot, blue dot – that’s what we want.” Blue dots were tallied at the end of the event to determine the winners.
Additionally, there was a 50/50 drawing and raffle tickets could be purchased for chances to win various baskets. “We have 74 cars entries, mostly local – one from Escondido, Chula Vista, and Imperial Valley,” said Jerry Price, who headed up the Kiwanis car show committee. There were eight categories for car entries: hot rods, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, pre-war/42 & older, antiques, others/rat rods, and foreign which ran from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Plaques were given out to participants that were sponsored by the Alpine Pepper Tree Vineyard’s Brent and Pat Wolf. The car show was held at the Alpine Elementary School’s parking lot.
Jerry Price emphasized that all proceeds are reinvested in Kiwanis programs that typically benefit youth.
Proceeds also went to the Alpine Community Center.