NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- There were nine contestants lining the streets of downtown New Albany next to the county courthouse, participating in a chili cook-off with a bit of a Halloween twist.
Some came dressed for the upcoming celebration as well as the contest.
Saturday afternoon's weather was perfect for a chili cookoff as nine competitors are now going head to head to see who comes out on top. I've tasted a few myself, and believe me the competition is fierce.
Half the fun was reading the names of the chili cook-off teams.
Whether it was the Wild Bill's Chili, Stirring Up for a Cure, or Red in the Neck Chili, each had a secret recipe that they were not willing to give away.
Each remained confident of victory as well.
"Every year we have this event. And we figure this close to Halloween, we have to have some chili," Walgreens Gone Mad team member Dan Kakuris said. "So we figure our mystery meat would do really well."
"I already won it. I just turned my application in so they would have the right name on it. We just come down here to have a little fun," said Ira Williams, a competitor who owns a New Albany pizza business. The name of his team: Red in the Neck Chili.
"Ours is better. I promise. We can beat some rednecks any day," said Amanda Kent of the Swamp Chili Masters.
Just who came out on top was not certain at the time, but there were plenty of other activities to keep the evening moving along, like a Halloween costume contest.
"This is the second year for the Hill Country Halloween and Chili cook-off. We used to do just trick or treat downtown, which we've done it for about ten years, and it was just games and candies," said Vickie Duke, the New Albany Main Street manager. "We have taken it to a bigger level. We still have the games and candy, but we've extended it to have entertainment and the chili cookoff."
"We've actually been doing the Halloween event for twelve years," said Mary Jennifer Russell, also of Main Street. "And it tends to pull the kids out to enjoy the activities. Just last year we added the entertainment and the chili cookoff."
The secret to all of this activity is to get more families into the downtown area, organizers say.