NEWBERRY — Jump starting Super Bowl weekend, the City of Newberry, along with the Eat Smart Move More group, will hold its first ever Chili Cook Off on Saturday. Main Street will be closed off Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
This healthy chili competition will be combined with a health fair downtown in Memorial Park beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m. when the winners are announced.
Mary Alex Kopp, City Tourism and Events Coordinator for the City of Newberry, said the event should be enjoyable, especially for locals, with most of the teams comprised from Newberry locals, differing from Pork in the Park, where participants come from out of town.
“It’s a much more locally based event,” Kopp said.
Sharon Graham with the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department was a big part of putting Saturday’s event together for the community. Graham said about 10 teams have signed up to participate.
The community is invited to buy three tasting cups Saturday for $5, and with those tasting cups, they will receive three voting tickets. After tasting their samples of chili, they will be asked to vote in the categories for their favorite, the spiciest, and the most original chili.
Each team was required to submit an ingredients list prior to the chili cook off. The chili must be made using ground turkey, contain one bean variety, and at least three vegetables to quality for the competition.
Graham said the team names for the competition have been very unique ranging from “Blue Light Special” to “So Fresh and So Lean.”
Profits from the sale of chili tasting cups will go to benefit super bowl charities.
“It’s just a nice way to give back,” Kopp said.
Combined with the chili cook off will be a health fair comprised of local providers. Graham said there will be spinal screenings, a chiropractor, certified health coach, massage therapy, a CPR and first aid demo, and more, all free to the public.
There will also be a Zumba exercise event.
“We encourage people to wear tennis shoes and to come out and dance in the street,” Graham said.
Kopp and Graham also invite the community to come out in their favorite NFL jersey Saturday to keep with the theme of the Super Bowl.
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108.