The Bracebridge Library’s first Chili Fest was so successful they have decided to make it an annual event.
“It was jam-packed,” says Ashleigh Whipp, the library’s community engagement coordinator. She says 212 people attended on Jan. 21, including six competing restaurants.
Kitchen’s Buttertarts took home bragging rights and a shiny trophy. As well, the library made a $250 donation in their name to a charity of their choice. They chose to give the money to Toronto’s SickKids Hospitals.
Big River Baking Co. dropped off bread for the competitors.
She adds that the number of people that came blew library staff and the competing restaurants away. “People want their chilli,” she says with a laugh.
The plan is to bring the competition back next year. “We’ll come back bigger and better next year with more chilli,” says Whipp.
“The feedback we got from the restaurants was outstanding,” adds Mckenzie Barnes, marketing and communications coordinator for the library. She says she’s hopeful next year more restaurants plan ahead so they can take part.
“That was a lesson learned: have more chilli,” adds Whipp. She says they were prepared for around 70 people so when people kept flowing in, the restaurants were forced to run back and forth to get more chilli prepared. “It was definitely a lot more than we thought,” she says.
The Bracebridge Library is located at 94 Manitoba St.