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Chili Cook-Off Looked Like a Beach Party

March 25, 2007 — The beach at Divi Carina Bay Resort Sunday was populated with people fueled by chili.
They wandered amidst booths where beer, soft drinks and 50-cent samples of chili were sold.
The pool was filled with locals and tourists, some of whom did know what was going on with the United Way's annual chili cook-off, and others who just thought every day was like this at the Divi.
The parking lots were full and cars were parked along South Shore road. The best guess organizers could make was that "several hundred" people attended the event in its sixth year under United Way sponsorship.
The event drew cooks with meat in their chili and six vegetarian-chili makers. Although it was scheduled to run until 6 p.m., most of the 16 participants had run out of chili by 2 p.m. No one complained, however, as the big beach party continued. The Outlaws in Paradise provided the background beat, which had a few people dancing.
"It just keeps getting bigger and better," said organizer Ana "Anita" Davila. "We keep getting a lot more help from sponsors, and the Texas Society in St. Thomas gave us a lot of help."
Susan Anderson took the honors for best chili, but generally it seemed more like a big party than a competition. Entrants included Hippie Chick Chili, It's Island Cocktail, Got Chili and Southern Girls Spicy Chili.
The United Way Chili Cook-off raised $16,000 last year and Davila hoped to raise even more this year. During the week leading up to the event, she said, "Our goal this year is $20,000, and we feel we can do it because this is an event that everyone can come out to because it's free."
Davila had asked for at least five volunteers from each organization that will benefit from the event to attend. Some groups came through with more than the requested number. All 10 of those groups showed up, including Catholic Charities' Soup Kitchen, Bethlehem House for the Homeless, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Civil Air Patrol, St. Croix Rescue, Legal Services, Interfaith Coalition, Men's Coalition and the Ebenezer Church Youth Steel Orchestra.
This year's corporate sponsors include the West Indian Co. (WICO), Coors Light, the Tourism Department, Executive Insurance, Turner St. Croix, Wyatt V.I. and Caribbean Auto Mart.
At least one naysayer attended the event, expressing nostalgia for more exotic meat choices. "I remember years ago when it was held at Rainbow Beach, they made the chili with rattlesnake and alligator meat," said a resident wishing to remain anonymous. "I liked it better 20 years ago."
But a group of local young people had no such qualms. "It was a really cool place to hang out, and the chili was spicy," Brandon Barron said.
The older folks had fun, too. One man wore a big sign on his chest that read, "Will Work for Chili."
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March 25, 2007 -- The beach at Divi Carina Bay Resort Sunday was populated with people fueled by chili.
They wandered amidst booths where beer, soft drinks and 50-cent samples of chili were sold.
The pool was filled with locals and tourists, some of whom did know what was going on with the United Way's annual chili cook-off, and others who just thought every day was like this at the Divi.
The parking lots were full and cars were parked along South Shore road. The best guess organizers could make was that "several hundred" people attended the event in its sixth year under United Way sponsorship.
The event drew cooks with meat in their chili and six vegetarian-chili makers. Although it was scheduled to run until 6 p.m., most of the 16 participants had run out of chili by 2 p.m. No one complained, however, as the big beach party continued. The Outlaws in Paradise provided the background beat, which had a few people dancing.
"It just keeps getting bigger and better," said organizer Ana "Anita" Davila. "We keep getting a lot more help from sponsors, and the Texas Society in St. Thomas gave us a lot of help."
Susan Anderson took the honors for best chili, but generally it seemed more like a big party than a competition. Entrants included Hippie Chick Chili, It's Island Cocktail, Got Chili and Southern Girls Spicy Chili.
The United Way Chili Cook-off raised $16,000 last year and Davila hoped to raise even more this year. During the week leading up to the event, she said, "Our goal this year is $20,000, and we feel we can do it because this is an event that everyone can come out to because it's free."
Davila had asked for at least five volunteers from each organization that will benefit from the event to attend. Some groups came through with more than the requested number. All 10 of those groups showed up, including Catholic Charities' Soup Kitchen, Bethlehem House for the Homeless, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Civil Air Patrol, St. Croix Rescue, Legal Services, Interfaith Coalition, Men's Coalition and the Ebenezer Church Youth Steel Orchestra.
This year's corporate sponsors include the West Indian Co. (WICO), Coors Light, the Tourism Department, Executive Insurance, Turner St. Croix, Wyatt V.I. and Caribbean Auto Mart.
At least one naysayer attended the event, expressing nostalgia for more exotic meat choices. "I remember years ago when it was held at Rainbow Beach, they made the chili with rattlesnake and alligator meat," said a resident wishing to remain anonymous. "I liked it better 20 years ago."
But a group of local young people had no such qualms. "It was a really cool place to hang out, and the chili was spicy," Brandon Barron said.
The older folks had fun, too. One man wore a big sign on his chest that read, "Will Work for Chili."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.