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United Way Chili Cook-Off set for Sept. 19

Jeanne Strate, left, and Nikki Brein, from Evergreen Youth & Family Services serve a cup of their chili at the annual United Way of Bemidji Area Chili Cook-Off in Sept. 2017 at the Sanford Center. (Pioneer file photo)

BEMIDJI -- The United Way of Bemidji Area’s 27th annual Chili Cook-Off will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Sanford Center.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘BEST OF BEMIDJI,’ celebrating Bemidji being named Best MN Town by Minnesota Monthly magazine.

There is no registration fee to be a cook, officials said in a release, however cooks must be sponsored by a business, church, nonprofit or restaurant. Teams must provide a minimum of two gallons of chili prepared in accordance with Department of Health regulations; and, dress/decorate their team’s six-foot table space/booth.

Registrations are requested by Friday, Sept. 7. Cook registration information can be downloaded from the home page of the United Way’s website,

Awards will be given in each of the five divisions: celebrity, corporation, business, non-profit and restaurant; as well as in the following categories: best name, best presentation, most creative and overall winner. Attendees will vote on the Taster’s Choice award.

The chili cook-off kicks off the United Way of Bemidji Area’s fall fundraising campaign for the community and will feature a variety of more than 30 chili recipes to try, the release said.

Tickets for all-you-can-eat chili, dessert, and a beverage are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Lueken’s Village Foods North or South and from the United Way office by calling (218) 444-8929.