Luther chili cook-off spices up life

LUTHER — The sunny skies and mild November weather added to the pleasant festivities Saturday in downtown Luther, and the breeze carried spicy aromas from kettles upon kettles of simmering chili during the annual chili-cook off.

Downtown was blocked off and State Street was bustling with taste testers who went from station to station collecting samples of chili. Each station was decorated with a “Pure Luther” theme.

The people of Luther added creativity to the mix of ingredients as well as displays. The Team America chili booth, patriotically decorated, added pineapple in their chili.

“Team America, making America great one bowl of chili at a time,” said Travis Kuipers.

He and Josh Williams were announced the top winners of the chili contest and for use of the contest theme. 

One booth, Chili Tunes, offered white chicken chili with toppings. Their slogan read, “Come back here you wascally chicken.”

One booth focused on family tradition, their slogan reading, “Homemade in Luther — the Rives Family. Luther is all about family.” Family pictures decorated the booth and homemade Christmas crafts were available for sale.

There was a “Mess Daddy’s Luther Deer Camp Chili,” to go with the theme of hunting in the north woods of Luther.

Another booth took a spin on a Luther legend, the Dogman. A life sized wood cut-out of a growling dogman greeted taste testers. The Dogman Chili consisted of ghost chilies, dogman treats, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, turkey, venison, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes.

One theme, Planet Luther Chili, was said to be out of this world.

One sign on a chili booth read, “Pure Luther, Michigan where part-time locals go to get “Lutherized.”  Beer was one of the ingredients in this chili.

After a morning of people cooking their brew of chili, the tasting commenced at 1 p.m. and shortly after 3 p.m. the winners were announced and the streets of Luther cleared, everyone filled with samples of tasty local chili.