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A tropical wave of heat and fun for United Way

Jennifer Murray with Herberger’s served up a bowl of Herb’s Hawaiian Hurricane while James Feist played the part of a camera-toting tourist. The display won a runner-up award in the United Way’s Chili Cook Off Tuesday. (Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff)1 / 2
The crew at Arabella’s got into the spirit of the Chili Cook Off’s island theme with their Blue Hawaiian Delight chili. Joseph Rau hammed it up as Elvis, accompanied by Joni Neal, Kim Englund and Megan Thompson. (Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff)) 2 / 2

Chili connoisseurs tickled their taste buds, laughed, bid on silent auction items and marveled at imaginative displays at the 16th annual United Way Chili Cook Off at Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria Tuesday.

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This year’s competition, the 16th annual, was made up of representatives from business and non-profits.

This year’s theme was “Tropical Islands Chili” and entrants went all out to match their recipes and decore to it.

Among the entries; Herb’s Hurricane Chili (where, according to its description, tourists can experience a tropical storm in a cup), Blue Hawaiian Delight (featuring a server in an Elvis get-up), Island Chicken Chili (which included big chunks of pineapple), Beans on the Beach Chili, Mad Kahlua Pig Chili, Jamaican Me Crazy Chili and other inventive concoctions.

Competition for the People’s Choice award was keen, according to United Way leaders.

First place went to 3M and runner up went to The Village Family Services.

Awards for best display went to Henry’s Foods, runner up was Herberger’s, and honorable mention went to Gardonville.

This year’s judges were members of the Leadership Alexandria team. They judged the following categories and found these competitors the winners:

  •Hottest chili — the Alexandria Fire Department.

•Open class winner — Douglas County Hospital.

•Most unusual chili — Gardonville.

•Commercial division winner — Weston Station.

United Way organizers thank all who competed, donated silent auction items, judged, volunteered and came to eat chili for the popular fundraiser.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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