Cooking up a winner

The Marion County Chili Cook-off and Car Show continues to be a great fundraiser for The Cornerstone School

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Posted November 8, 2022 | Photos by Bruce Ackerman

Thousands of guests kicked up the red dirt floor of the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion on Nov. 5 in search of their favorite chili during the 41st annual Marion County Chili Cook-off.

The event, which is a fundraiser for The Cornerstone School, featured local chili chefs serving up samples of their special recipe from inside brightly decorated booths. The guests rotating from booth to booth could place a ticket in a container to “vote” for their favorite chili.

In a special section of the grandstands, official judges tasted every entry (designated only by a number) in successive rounds until a final tally was achieved.

The event also included activities for children, entertainment and a car show, which also was judged.

As the dust settled in late afternoon, these winners were announced:

Judged Chili

Grand Champ – Florida Twirling Academy

First Runner-up – Brookdale Senior Living

Second Runner-up – Big Lees BBQ

Judged Booth 

Grand Champ – AdventHealth Ocala

First Runner-up – Happy Bubble Team

People’s Choice Chili

Grand Champ – Marion County Fire Rescue

First Runner-up – Ocala Fire Rescue

People’s Choice Booth

Grand Champ – Magnolia Homestead Realty

1st Runner Up – Marion County Fire Department

Trapper Ron Morgan Spirit Award – National Junior Honor Society Cornerstone School

Best in Car Show

Jon Kister, 1970 Chevy Camaro

People’s Choice in Car Show

E.O. Zimmerman, 1966 Chevy Malibu

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