Whether it's traditional, vegetarian, white with chicken or another flavor, the annual Marietta Family YMCA Chili Cook-off is sure to have something for everyone.
The annual event, now in its 12th year, has expanded over the years to include a broader selection of food, more space and ample parking. Added to the event this year is a cash bar and the popular band Hip Pocket.
"It worked out well to move to the Shrine Club last year," said Suzy Zumwalde, the YMCA's executive director. "I moved here a little over a year ago and I was amazed at the fun people were having and from all the community support from the restaurants and individuals ... and there was nothing (food-related) that I didn't try last year."
Along with different types of chili, the event, from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, also features soups and desserts, which will be judged on an individual and professional level.
"We have 40-plus chilis, soups and desserts that will be available," said Karen Shaner, membership experience director. "The event just gets bigger every year. People love chili on a cool evening."
First, second and third place will be awarded to restaurants and also to individuals in each category.
If you go
What: 12th annual Chili Cook-off.
When: Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: Marietta Shrine Club, 249 Pennsylvania Ave.
Details: Live music by Hip Pocket, 40 varieties of chili and soup to sample; desserts; raffle and 50/50 drawing.
Cost: Adults - $12, seniors - $10.
For tickets or information: 373-2250
Levee House Cafe
Olde Town Bakery
The Town House
Over the Moon pizzeria
Henslers Farm Market
Shaner added that folks have until 9 p.m. today to enter by contacting the YMCA.
Austyn's restaurant will be one of a handful of places returning this year to compete in the professional level of each category.
Head chef Jeff Els will be preparing a chili, a soup and a dessert for the event, according to David Nicols, with the restaurant.
"We're doing a Texas-style con carne with oven-roasted strip loin, a cake, which has received rave reviews (from patrons) and the soup will be a chipotle, sweet potato bisque. It will have some heat, a smoky background and some sweetness," Nichols said.
The goal of the event this year is to again raise $5,000 for the YMCA.
"The money goes a long way to helping with our programs and activities and to help children in the community," said Zumwalde. "It helps us to be able to provide scholarships and helps to keep fees down."
Zumwalde also added, "I think it's successful because it's fun, it's good food and it's priced right."