Monica Paxton and Steve Nolte cooking up their winning chili.

As late as Friday, weather forecasters were predicting temps in the 40s for Saturday, February 8, the date of the Sully County Fair Board’s ‘Just Chili’n’ fundraiser for the hundredth Sully County Fair in 2022.

Instead, those who were looking forward to an enjoyable day of cooking chili in the backyard of the Blue Goose, found it necessary to don their coveralls and erect wind screens in order to keep the fires beneath their pots of chili lit. Seven teams gathered to cook chili and savored the camaraderie to be found around their campfires.

By the time the chili was ready to be served at 5:00 p.m., a nice crowd had gathered inside the Blue Goose, and with snow starting to fall, it was decided to serve the chili inside.

For the price of a $5.00 bowl for unlimited chili, the assembled crowd sampled the culinary results, and added their tickets to the team buckets in order to select by people’s choice the winner of the cooking contest. The team of Monica Paxton and Steve Nolte were announced as the recipients of the most votes and declared the winners; the pair generously donated their winnings back to the fair.

The friendly competition among the competing teams and the cordial welcome from the Fair Board and the Blue Goose crew combined with the steamy fare to create an evening that had those present wondering if the Fair Board would do the fundraiser again next year. The success of the inaugural ‘Just Chili’n’ competition ensures that culinary artists and chili consumers alike should look forward to the second annual cook-off in 2021.