Thai chili, vegetable chili, chicken, beef, pork chili and even shark chili! Yes, it was better than it sounds. I personally tasted almost every kind while trying to stay upright against the relentless wind. I can safely say that there wasn’t a single chili sample that I didn’t like but my personal all-time favorite was the pulled pork chili with bourbon made by The Lobby, one of Middlebury’s newest eateries.
The Lobby served theirs with a dollop of frozen coleslaw on top! I was thrilled to discover they had won at the end of that challenging day. I was impressed with how the vendors were able to keep smiles on their faces while serving for hours in the excruciating cold.
I also don’t know how the organizers managed to do it. At one point the entire length of Main Street had empty chili cups whipping down the center of it from blown-over garbage cans headed toward Middlebury College! I thought to myself, “This will take a few days to clean up.” I’m happy to report that an hour after the event the streets were clean and clear.
Kudos to the Better Middlebury Partnership and everyone involved in The 9th Annual Vermont Chili Festival … and if Middlebury College did get the brunt of the blowing chili containers I’m sure they will get some help picking it up when the snow melts!
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