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A touch of spice to help area children

Legend has it chili competitions date back more than 200 years when the Chili Queens of San Antonio vied for customers.

These women worked in the Military Plaza and would sell their seasoned meat stews they called chili out of a cart.

In an effort to get more customers, the Chili Queens, according to spiceinc.com, would tryout new, better and spicier recipes to make sure their cart was the most popular on the plaza.

For the past 10 years, a chili competition has been held in Vicksburg to benefit local children with this year marking the 11th annual Chili for Children Cook-Off.

Sponsored by The Radio People, the cook-off will be Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. outside Lady Luck Casino.

Admission is $10 and free for ages 10 and younger and includes all the chili you can eat.

Sabrina Lynn, who is the station manager at River 101.3 said there will also be a kid zone, which will include inflatables and face painting, a raffle, live music and a silent auction.

Also, soft drinks and sweets will be available for purchase, “And the beer truck is back,” Lynn said.

For those interested in competing in the chili cook-off, the cost is $50 per team, which covers up to four members and includes a 10-by-20 space, spoons, napkins and sample cups.

Tables and electricity are not included.

The cost for additional team members is $10 per person, Lynn said.

Set up begins at 7 a.m. and only one vehicle per team will be allowed inside the gate.

“The gate will be closed and locked at 9:30 a.m., sharp,” she said, and judging will begin at noon.

Chili will be judged on aroma, color, consistency, flavor and aftertaste.

Prizes will be awarded during the event, which will include $200 and a trophy for first prize, $100 and a trophy for second and $50 and a trophy for third.

Awards will also be given our for team spirit/best-decorated booth and a people’s choice award.

Applications and additional information are available on the Chili for Children Cook-off Facebook page, emailing sabrina@radiopeople.com or by calling 601-636-2340.

In the past, all proceeds from the cook-off have been donated to the Warren County Children’s Shelter, Lynn said, but this year they will be split between the children’s shelter and Jacob’s Ladder Learning Center.

Additional changes this year include a logo change and a theme for the cook-off.

“We have never done a theme; we have just let the teams do what they want, but this year the theme will be “Super Heroes for Kids.”

Vicksburg Cycles sponsored the first Chili for Children Cook-Off, Lynn said, with the radio station covering the event.

“It was so big that year that when it was over, they said ‘We would love to see this continue and for this to be bigger every year, so why don’t y’all just take it and run with it,’” she said.

They did, and to date more than $100,000 has been raised for the children’s shelter.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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