IceFest features chills and chili

January 31, 2009|By CHRIS CARTER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- Members of the Young Lawyers Division of the Franklin County Bar Association classified their chili recipe as confidential.

Enjoying the dish Saturday at the seventh annual IceFest in downtown Chambersburg wasn't so restricted.

The young lawyers appealed to the hundreds that made rounds in the Central Presbyterian Church gymnasium around lunchtime for the Chili Cook-Off.

Shortly after 1 p.m. the verdict was in. Their chili -- the first batch they've entered in the contest -- was the People's Choice.

"We made 10 gallons and ran out," said Kristen Hamilton, who borrowed the recipe from her husband, Tyler. "I got the recipe and tinkered with it a little bit. We had a lot of compliments and people coming back for seconds. It was a lot of fun and I'm pretty sure we'll be back next year."


The Young Lawyers Division had a mini cook-off prior to Saturday's event to decide whose chili would be entered in the contest. Hamilton earned the honor for one year, at least, and won the People's Choice award as well as first place among amateurs.

"Hopefully, it'll be someone else next year," she joked.

Awards were given for the top two chili batches prepared by amateurs, the best brewed by a professional -- Family Traditions Lighthouse won for the fourth straight year -- and the best booth, which went to Menno Haven's "Home on the Range" theme.

The chili cook-off set the stage for the hot pepper contest, in which a dozen people participated. The objective: Consume as many jalapeño peppers as possible in a two-minute span without suffering a "reversal of fortune."

Marshall Cooper, 20, of Shippensburg, Pa., won for the second straight year, choking down eight peppers -- one shy of last year's mark. Moments after the contest, he was working on his second bottle of water while scarfing on oyster crackers.

"It doesn't seem like they're helping. It can be painful," Cooper said. "Fresh jalapeños just are never consistent with how spicy they are. But I had to defend my title."

Cooper considered the opportunity for a three-peat.

"We'll see," he said.

Those with more sensitive taste buds opted to enjoy IceFest 2009 under sunny skies at the downtown square. Families strolled the sidewalks, snacking on festival food while admiring the dozens of ice sculptures presented by local businesses.

Few children left without getting their photo souvenirs from atop the giant royal throne ice sculpture at the corner of U.S. 30 and U.S. 11 downtown.

Some even stuck around as temperatures dropped for the fireworks show.

IceFest 2009 concludes this afternoon with two showings of the movie "Ice Age II" at The Capitol Theatre at 159 S. Main St. Showings will be at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., with the latter being shown in Spanish.

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