Western Ridge wasn’t really on fire on Jan. 25 — in spite of all the fire trucks parked outside. What was really going on was the annual Chili Cook-off benefit for the Glacier View Fire Department, a favorite event among the locals.
This year there were 16 varieties of chili entered as local home cooks got all fired up to show off their stuff. The judges were Ralph Knox and Roger Zorka. Both judges preferred their chili with beans, noticeable heat but not too much, meat, tomatoes and a blend of spices. Everyone who attended was able to vote in the people’s choice category.
The winner of the best overall was Rhea Shaw, who regretfully couldn’t share her recipe since her chili is always a little different and she couldn’t remember exactly what she did. Second-best overall was won by Glacier View chief Greg Niswender, who should know a thing or two about heat. The category of most unique was won by Denise Burk with second place going to Linda Sunday. First place in the people’s choice category was won by Troy Massier with second place going to Kevin Nyberg.
The party got even spicier as Glacier View Fire Department volunteers — who risk their lives every fire season so that the rest of us can be safe — showed up after a training exercise. The event raised $380 for the fire department and a good time and a full belly was had by all.