I walked into the arena for the DC101 Chili Cook-Off to find beer stand after beer stand next to the music festival. Masses of drunken groupies walked around eagerly waiting for the headliners, Weezer and Panic! At the Disco to go on stage. I found myself asking, where is all the chili at this supposed Chili Cook-Off? After twenty minutes of looking, I was almost ready to give up when I eyed a group of white tents 100 yards away, on the other side of the stadium.
With only one thing in mind (food!), I ran over to the tents hoping to find at least a few chili samples. This is where the real party was at. An eclectic bunch gathered for the dozens of chili stands. Chili chefs, dressed as donkeys, Hawaiians, or really anything they could think of, tried to persuade you to taste their chili.
I tasted all types of chili- green chili, white chili, red chili, meat chili, vegetarian chili, spicy chili, sweet chili- you name it and I tasted it!
The best part, after the food of course, were the crazy signs in front of each chili station.
As I walked home, with my mouth still burning from the fiery chili samples, I eyed the thousands of people at the funnel cake stands and Budweiser stations. I wanted to scream, “The real fun is over there!” I refrained because that meant even more free chili for me.
by Ariana Snow