First Annual Chili Cook-Off at Hampton Volunteer Fire Department

Published 9:08 am Friday, September 27, 2019

Chili making connoisseurs will be showing off their skills at the Hampton-Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department’s First Annual Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser Saturday afternoon.

This will be the all-volunteer fire department’s maiden voyage with this type of fundraiser. The idea for the cook-off was at the suggestion of a grateful resident that the department had put out a fire for.

“The chili cook-off was brought to us by Shannon [Posada]…she is kind of heading this up and assisting us with this,” Fire Chief Chris Isaacs said. “Recently, we extinguished a fire at her home, and she wanted to give back to our community by helping us do a fundraiser.”

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The event is slated to begin at 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., however Chief Isaacs said it would last as long as they have enough chili.

The fundraiser could not have come at a better time because the department has an exigent need for funds to equip new firemen coming on.

“The nice thing about the chili cook-off is all these people are bringing the chili so the fire department is not actually taking money out of our budget to buy the supplies to do this,” Isaacs said. “So everything made on this event is basically profit for the fire department that goes right into the budget. Our membership has almost doubled in the last 12 months.”

Isaacs said that the increase in membership is great, but they do not have enough equipment for the growing department. “We issued our last helmet last month to the newest member,” he said.

Isaacs hopes the proceeds received from the event will offset the cost of equipping incoming fire personnel, which can cost $3500 from head to toe.

While there are several chili challengers that have signed on, there is room for more. The cost to compete is $25 and registration forms can be picked up at Yard and Nursery Depot and Brown’s Grocery and Hardware in Hampton and at East Tennessee ATV Sales & Service in Elizabethton.

The contest will be held at the department’s station at 401 4th Avenue in Hampton. First place slots will awarded for best chili, hottest chili and best table. Winners will be given $50, a trophy and bragging rights for a year.

In addition to the main event, there will be a live and silent auction where tickets to the Grand Ole Opry and gift cards and baskets too numerous to name will be given to the winning bidders.

There will be inflatables for the kids to enjoy. There will be a live band at the event as well playing either gospel or country, however, no name for the act has yet been released.

The cost to eat some of the best local chili is $6 and includes chili, cornbread, dessert, and a drink. A baked potato can be added for $2 extra.

Local free delivery is being offered for those who cannot attend the event.

More information can be obtained by contacting Chief Isaacs at 423-647-4113.