By Leslie Silverman
It was a brisk day for the 10th Annual Polar Bear Chilli Cook Off.
The fundraising event for the Tin City Masonic Lodge No. 112 allows people to sample various chilis and support the community organization.
There were several different themed booths at the Polar Bear Chili Cook Off, all vying for best decorated. Krull’s Market had a road kill scene. They joked their road kill red chili was made with roadkill off the side of the road and put into a chili.
Truthfully, it contained four different meats, including hot Italian sausage, chorizo, smoked sausage and ground beef. They were 2017 and 2018 winners coming back to defend their title.
Carmen and Chad Ronish had a “Welcome to Margaritaville” theme. The couple was tired of the cold and was serving margaritas along with their chili. They had several chilis, including one containing yak. It was described as a very simple recipe with a smooth flavor. Yak makes a somewhat sweet addition to chili and is a lean protein. They were also making sure everybody who came to their booth got leis. Carmen jokes they were “leiing everybody.”
First place booth winner was Kade McVey, while Krull’s Market placed second and Chad Ronish took third. Elizabeth Knapp had the best red chili and Shane Alexander had the best white chili. People’s choice went to Alyssa Wiess.
Jenny Bradford and Kayla Hernandez were sampling the chili for the first time at the Polar Bear Cookoff.
“It’s a nice activity to be outside. There are a lot of great chilis,” said Bradford.
Also on Saturday was the Hill City Tour de Chocolate. The event attracted visitors from around the region. The Museum @ Black Hills Institute was handing out chocolate ice cubes, a throwback candy from a different time.
“My boss liked them as a child and found them online,” said Nadine Adams, who noted the museum traffic was busier than usual for a Saturday.
Lisa Schneider of Belle Fourche came down with her husband and another couple.
“It’s so clean,” she remarked about the town.
The couples had each bought something in town and joked, “we left our money in Hill City.”