Steamboat Springs For many, the annual Great North Routt Chili Cook Off signals the end of cabin fever and a long winter.
It also means good eats and full bellies, with dozens of green and red chilis, soups and desserts.
“People get really excited about their chili,” organizer Kerri Ann Crocker said.
She said the most serious competitors make large batches to ensure everyone has an opportunity to get a taste. Winners are determined by votes from those who attend.
This year’s competition is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse, 60880 Routt County Road 129 in Clark.
Cook off participants are asked to drop off entries — six quarts or more — at Hahn’s Peak Roadhouse by 12:30 p.m. Sunday and bring crock pots, power cords and ladles. The entry fee is $10.
Cost to eat is $15 per person with a maximum charge of $45 per family. Children younger than 7 eat free. Entertainment will be provided by the Three Wire band.
Crocker said it is guaranteed that many of the chilis will use wild game. Last year’s event included several elk chilis, along with one recipe that used bear.
There also will be a vegan chili.
Proceeds from the event benefit the North Routt Preschool and the North Routt Fireworks Fund.
The Fireworks Fund relies primarily on community donations to fund July 4 fireworks at Steamboat Lake. It is a special event with fireworks launched from the island and people viewing from their boats.
Crocker said the preschool is a good cause, as well. Currently, the school has 15 pre-schoolers and 10 toddlers.
“Our population has gotten bigger,” Crocker said. “We’re seeing a lot of new families in the area.”
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland