Tailgate Chili Cook Off benefits Luther Days
LUTHER — State Street in downtown Luther was closed to vehicle traffic on Saturday as the community came together for the 10th Annual Tailgate Chili Cook-Off — a time when Luther residents showcase their creativity as well as compete for the title of chili champion.
As one of the largest events in the village, the cook-off raises money for Luther Logging Days.
The street was crowded with people warming up with samples of piping hot chili during the snowy, chilly weather.
This year's theme was "What is your Top Ten List."
Johnny Cash tunes blared through town at one chili booth using the theme, "Johnny Cash's Top Ten Hits."
The Luther Fire Department's top ten list was "Survival Kit for Firemen," with such essentials as Peppermint Patties, "to help you keep your cool," Snickers, "to help you keep your sense of humor," and gum, "to help you stick your unit together."
"There are people saying we have the best chili and have been coming for more. Last year we were in second place, but this year we are going for first," said Luther firefighter Jeremy Susanka.
The winner for this year's best chili was "Team U.S.A.," winners of the 2016 chili cook-off. Winners for best use of theme went to "Johnny Cash's Top Ten Hits."
Another theme was, "10 things Dog Man Likes in his Chili." Norm Zelony, who has had the Dog Man themed chili for the past 10 years, said he is retiring from participating in the event.
"Dog Man has been here 10 years, but he is retiring. He knows better than to go up the creek without a paddle," he said, stirring his chili with a small boat paddle.