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
Bruce@ocalagazette.com

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

To learn more, go to marioncountychilicookoff.com