Fire & Ice in Georgetown: Weird weather makes for perfect chili day

Chili competition one of three weekend events

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/11/21

When organizers named the Fire & Ice Chili Cook Off, perhaps they were keeping Georgetown's strange fall weather in mind. Mother Nature delivered a doozy on Saturday afternoon during the second …

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Fire & Ice in Georgetown: Weird weather makes for perfect chili day

Chili competition one of three weekend events

Posted

When organizers named the Fire & Ice Chili Cook Off, perhaps they were keeping Georgetown's strange fall weather in mind.

Mother Nature delivered a doozy on Saturday afternoon during the second annual chili competition. The event kicked off at 11 a.m. under warm and sunny skies, but just as chili pots were starting to run empty around 1 p.m., the clouds and chill rolled in.

Then came the rain, then came the rain/snow mix. As the last few chili-eaters and cooks were preparing to leave, the sun came out again.

“The weather is nastier this year,” cook Kathleen Baker said as rain was pouring in Strousse Park.

The chili competition was part of a trifecta of events in downtown, along with John Denver's Georgetown and a car show by the Denver Mustang Club. Hundreds milled around downtown, listening to the John Denver tribute music, looking at cars and eating chili.

Proceeds from Saturday's chili competition went to the Clear Creek County Advocates, and first responder agencies participated along with individuals and businesses.

Saturday had seven total chilis, and Sunday was scheduled to have 15, mostly from individuals. Sunday's proceeds went to the Friends of the John Tomay Memorial Library.

Baker was one of the competition's inaugural cooks in 2019, and she decided to return because she knew it would be fun.

Instead of repeating her chili recipe from two years ago, Baker went with a chicken-and-cream-based white chili. She remarked that it's “keto friendly,” as she's on the ketogenic diet and wanted to make something she could eat.

A few booths over, Georgetown's David Rehak Suma was serving the Clear Creek Fire Authority's beef-based chili, which he and his fellow firefighters made the night before.

He said the team has tested out the recipe — which includes stout beer — a few times previously, and that it's “turned out fantastic every time.”

Rehak Suma said he felt that, despite the change in weather, the event had a great turnout, describing a “consistent stream of people” for the first few hours.

“It's a great way to serve the community in a couple of different ways,” he said of the competition. “ … I'm happy to see all the support for Clear Creek first responders.”

Denver's Natalie Sauls drove up to the mountains with her husband, Rafal Plonski, and friends for some leaf-peeping. The group heard about the event beforehand and wanted to stop along the way for chili.

While they arrived too late to try some chilis, of the four they did eat, they said Sabel's was the best.

Even though the afternoon weather wasn't what they'd hoped for, it ended up being a perfect match for the warm, spicy chili, Sauls described.

“'Tis' the season,” she said.

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