26th Street Market seeks Chili Cook-off entrants

       A $100 first prize will go to the winner of the 26th Street Market's Chili Cook-off starting at noon, Saturday, Aug. 26 at Vermijo Park.
       The deadline for entries is Monday, Aug. 21. The entry fee is $30. If there are enough entries, there will also be second and third prizes, according to market manager Helen Ivey of JEI, which organizes the weekly market.
       The judges will be anyone who is there and wants to try the chili. “We'll have the public vote on it,” she said, then added with a laugh, “If you asked me to judge chili, if it's spicy it's going to lose.”
       Vermijo Park is off 26th Street, just south of the Old Colorado City Historic District. The market goes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
       Cooks will need to bring at least a gallon of chili. Because of insufficient electric power at the site, cook-off entrants will need to supply their own power to keep their food hot. Propane stoves can be used.
       The market is in its first year. JEI had run craft fairs in recent years at Bancroft Park, but started a summer-Saturday produce market/craft fair at Vermijo in response to the city's restriction of private events at the smaller Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City.
       The Cook-off is a promotional effort to make more people aware of the market's existence. “Our whole intention to get more people out there,” Ivey said. “We've been handing out flyers and people have said, 'We wondered what happened to you.' We hope this puts it on the map for us.”

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