Chili Cookoff brings the heat on coldest day of the year

Bundled up in their winter gear, many Port St. Joe residents and visitors braved Saturday’s wind chill and met up outside the Haughty Heron, proving there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of chili on a cold day.

The Junior Service League of Port St. Joe’s annual Chili Cookoff fundraiser drew a large crowd despite the weather, with over a dozen teams competing for the top spot and many traveling to Gulf County from other nearby areas.

At around 3 p.m., after a full day of chili eating, the judges, who were all local members of law enforcement and the armed services, announced their top picks. Ed’s Red Hot Sauce, from Port St. Joe, took home first place, followed by Lone Star Boil House and Raw Bar and Sacred Heart Guild.

The event also featured a car show, live music performed by Hunter Wall and booths from dozens of local organizations and vendors.

The Junior Service League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The event, which is in its twelfth year, is one of the Junior Service League’s largest annual fundraisers.

In a Facebook post, the organization said profits from this year’s event would go towards helping them donate supplies to local schools, host a free prom dress pop-up show and organize a community Easter egg hunt, among other charitable projects.

For more information about the Junior Service League of Port St. Joe and their work, visit the organization’s Facebook page at

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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