St. George Island Chili Cook-Off Raises Thousands

ST. GEORGE ISLAND - St. George Island is hosting its annual chili cook-off. This is the 30th year the St. George Island Fire Department planned the event.

Almost 5,000 people came to see contestants in this years cook-off competing in the International Chili Society National Championship.

Festivities kicked off Thursday with a gulf tournament and a 5k run Saturday leading up to the cook-off. Contestants began firing up their pots around 8 a.m. and gates were open to the public at 9:00 a.m.

"We started this out years ago when someone lost their trailer it caught fire. So we started to cook some chili for them to help raise him some money. And the first year we did it we raised $750 and the family said give it to the fire department," said Jay Abbott, St. George Fire Chief.

Other festivities included a live auction where the fire chief says they've raised about $25,000.

All who participated in the cook-off will be judged and be able to move on to another chili cook-off contest. The next cook-off will be in October and organizers say it probably won't be local.