Chili Cookoff winner Deanne Katchen (center)

Chili cookoff celebrates tube park opening

The Winter Carnival launched on Friday with a fun-filled evening for the whole family at Summit Lake ski hill.

By Craig Savage/Special to the Arrow Lakes News

The Winter Carnival launched on Friday with a fun-filled evening for the whole family at Summit Lake ski hill. This year, the second Annual Chili Cookoff coincided with the grand opening of the new tube park. Angela Harrison-Mowbray and other parents started the chili competition as a fundraiser for the high school ski team. Proceeds of the event will help the team travel to Whistler for B.C. Provincials in March. Sponsors for the food and prizes included Overwaitea, People’s Pharmacy, and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). A wide variety of chili recipes were among the 14 entrants — spiciness ranged from mild to hot and ingredients included everything from pork to vegetarian to moose.

The esteemed panel of judges was comprised of Mayor Karen Hamling, caterer Debbie Guest, and fire department representative Karolina Moskal. They painstakingly sampled from every pot, giving each a score for aroma, texture, and overall taste. Last year’s winner was Stef Scambler, with runners-up Angela Harrison-Mowbray and Kelly Ballard. This year, however, featured three new winners. The young Kate-Lynn Lagore earned third place for her moose chili. “She made it from her great-great-grandmother’s recipe,” said her mother proudly.

In second place, Trudy Andrews pleased the judges with her medium pork chili. This year’s first prize went to Deanne Katchen and her more traditional medium beef recipe. Once the judges had finished their work, everyone else dug in. Many took advantage of the “all you can eat” option to try several varieties. The winning entries in particular had soon been picked clean.  While attendance was somewhat lower than last year due to the hockey game taking place on the same evening, the night featured lively conversation and many satisfied chili enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of fun to be had on the slopes.  Karen Hamling, Area H Director Walter Popoff, and ski hill president Eric Waterfield were on hand to officially cut the ribbon on the new tube park. Just for the grand opening, admission was by donation. The young and young at heart were soon flying down the hill and around the bend. “The run is very fast tonight,” noted Waterfield, as we watched another rider spin her way down the hill. The new addition was constructed with funds from CBT, volunteers, and even some salvaged lights. The tube run also features a starting point lower down on the hill for younger riders. Others were enjoying some night skiing on a pleasant evening with relatively mild temperatures and just a few flakes falling.

For those interested in supporting local skiing, the March Madness fishing derby benefitting the ski team and the ski hill will take place March 16-18 on the Arrow Lakes.