The ninth annual Firehouse Chili Cook-off at the Chattanooga Zoo is now history, and neither of the returning champions still has bragging rights.
Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield on Saturday presented the People’s Choice award to “Louie’s Red Shirt Mafia” with the Cleveland Fire Department. They upset the reigning champions from Chattanooga’s Station No. 1, which had won that title for the past five years. Cleveland’s team won with its “Hillbilly Chili.”
For the Chef’s Choice award, the “CFD Combat Challenge Team” won with its “Iron Man Chili.” It’s their first time competing in the contest, defeating the defending champions, the “Chili Chiefs.” Last month, members of this team won top honors at the Tennessee Ultimate Fire Fighter “TUFF” Challenge in Bell Buckle, Tenn.
Holly Carroll, district director with the local Muscular Dystrophy Association, said Saturday’s event raised about $5,800 for MDA. The major sponsors included Food Lion, Firehouse Subs and Kohl’s.
This was the first time the Firehouse Chili Cook-off was held at the Chattanooga Zoo, and coincided with Go!Fest.
The seventh annual Go!Fest was a free day at the zoo, featuring live music, adaptive sports, helicopter landings, assistive technology and a children’s area with bouncy castles, face painting and educational booths.
Go!Fest is part of an initiative created to help make Chattanooga more accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability.