At one point, the line to get tickets for the Junior Service League’s annual Chili Cook-off fundraiser on Saturday was about 100 people long.
Volunteers had sold out of chili tasting cups only an hour after the event opened.
It was, JSL members said, one of the largest, if not the largest, turnouts they had ever had for the event.
“I think this has to be double the turnout we had last year,” said Hilary Patterson, the JSL’s president, “if not triple.”
At around 3 p.m., after a full day of chili eating, the judges announced their top picks. Chili Brew Crew, out of the Oyster City brewery in Apalachicola, took home first place, followed by Daddy’s Girls Chili, with representatives from Port St. Joe restaurants Uptown Raw Bar and Dagwoods Delicatessen.
SEC Game Day Chili and Hot Sisters Chili tied for third place. The people’s choice award went to Hot Sisters Chili and Tap Root PSJ won best team spirit.
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.
According to the organization, 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.
“Thank you everyone for coming out, donating, and supporting our causes,” the JSL wrote in a Facebook post following the event.
For more information about the Junior Service League of Port St. Joe and their work, visit the organization’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jslpsj/.