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ALTON - The Downtown Alton Chili Cook-off 2021 at the Lodge at the Lovejoy featured not only excellent recipes and entertainment but had what the event chair described as “beautiful weather.” Team Building Chair Emily Keener said this year’s chili cook-off could be described “as a lot of fun" and "some type of chili for everyone."

Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany said: “Thanks to everyone who came out to support our Chili Cook-Off...what a great time! Congratulations to this year's winners.”

This year’s Chili Cook-off Winners were:

People's Choice - Jesse Fassler

Individual - Nicole Gory

Business - Argosy Casino Alton

Restaurant - LaMay's Catering Inc.

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Organization - Renegade Gardens IL

Best Decor - Sherry Oettle

“There were all kinds of variety of chili,” Keener said. “Everybody had a little different kind of recipe that was sure to please somebody. “Overall, it was a lot of fun to get people together in a friendly competition and it is a fun family event. Alton Main Street and its board of directors plan this event with the people cooking the chili with Russ (Smith) at the Lodge at the Lovejoy. They all huddled together to make a really fun and a community effort.”

The beautiful Lodge at the Lovejoy was the perfect setting for Saturday’s event. Smith has done an exceptional job with revitalizing his outside area into a sought-after facility now for weddings, parties, and many different events.

Alton Main Street's Downtown Alton Chili Cook-off 2021 entries were on par with a regular year, McGibany said.

McGibany described the Chili Cook-off as "a great civic event that encourages local chefs, both amateur and professional, to match their favorite recipes with others in similar categories."

"Organizers look forward to greeting returning teams and welcoming new participants to this fiery competition," she said.

Judges awarded $100 prizes to winners in 4 categories: Individual, Organization, Business, and Restaurant. The team that was chosen as “People’s Choice” received the coveted silver ladle and bragging rights. Funds raised will support Alton Main Street’s ongoing beautification and economic development efforts in Downtown Alton.

For more interviews from the Chili Cook-off, see the video above.

'Tis the Season to Shop Small and Save! Shop Small Saturday, November 27th.