Chili Fest draws record crowd
SNOWMASS VILLAGE The weekends Chili Pepper & Brew Fest in Snowmass Village drew more than 7,000 attendees, setting a record for the fourth straight year of its existence, according to organizers. We had record crowds this year, and Im not going out on a limb to say that it was the biggest crowd ever on Fanny Hill, and probably the biggest to hit Snowmass Village outside of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, said Susan Hamle, marketing and special events director for the town, in a press release issued Monday. While final ticket numbers arent in, Hamley estimated about 1,800 visitors and locals attended Fridays festivities, while Saturday, headlined by Ziggy Marley, easily drew about 5,000 attendees, surpassing the one-day records set by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the free July Fourth weekend in 2004 and Jonny Lang at last years Chili Pepper & Brew Fest. Sundays local day drew more than 400 festival-goers who voted in the locals chili and homebrew competitions. Total attendance was up from about 5,000 attendees at the festival last year.Event director Josh Berman estimated the festival went through at least 200 to 300 kegs of beer and 200 gallons of chili. Next up on the towns event calendar is the Parrothead Block Party on June 23, featuring ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro and the Greencards.. The free weekly concerts on Fanny Hill kick off on June 28 with the band War.The Chili Pepper & Brew Fest combines live music with competitions among chili chefs and beer makers. The pros put their chili, salsa and beer to the test on Friday and Saturday; on Sunday, locals battled for bragging rights in the Peoples Choice local chili cookoff and homebrew competitions. Friday kicked things off with the sanctioned Front Range District Chili Cook-off held by the International Chili Society. Cooks vyed for entry to the world championships in the categories of Chili Verde, Chili Red, and Chili Salsa.On Saturday, the International Chili Society hosted the 9th annual Hot Times Regional Championship at the festival.Winners of the Snowmass Chili Pepper and Brew Fest:Fridays competitionChili Red: First Place, $1,000 prize George Lott, Pueblo Chernobyl ChiliChili Verde: First Place, $500 prize Priscilla Lichon, Priscillas ChiliChili Salsa: First Place, $100 prize Chuck Burdick, Charlies Fire in a BowlBest Summer Ale: Palisade Brewery for Palisade Peach $100 prizeSaturdays competitionChili Red: First Place, $1,000 prize Chuck Burdick, Charlies Fire in a BowlChili Verde: First Place, $500 prize Mike Gatscet, Mikeys Chili worksChili Salsa: First Place, $100 prize George Lott, Pueblo Chernobyl ChiliBest Chili Booth: The Duck Blind Chili Co., $100 prizeSundays competition:Peoples Choice Locals Chili Cook-Off Winners:First Place: Dan Beach, Dirty Little PiggySecond Place: Steven Rodriguez, Simply DeliciousThird Place: Nicole & Ellen Hammes, Damn Good ChiliWinners of the Locals Homebrew Competition:First Place: Jeff Dahl, Lemon WheatSecond Place: Marty Swanson, Smoked Out StoutThird Place: Tie: Griffin Spit and Unicloud Pale Ale, Eric Cree
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With the snowpack and precipitation levels in Pitkin County below last year at this time, local officials are bracing for an active wildfire season this summer.