Crawling for chili

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They won’t be slinging beers right and left, and there won’t be craziness, but yes, there will be a chili event this Saturday on St. George Island.

They’re calling is the unofficial, official, St. George Island “Chili Crawl,” and it is planned as a low-key fun community event to support the island’s volunteer fire department.

Plus the department and its many supporters will be selling their own chili in the giant parking lot in the center of the island, just as they have been for several decades. There just won’t be several dozen competitors hoping to secure big money and get a trip to the nationals. The International Chili Society is not a party to this year's event.

Organizers of the crawl, which starts at 11 a.m., are inviting folks to travel by car, golf cart, bicycle or even walk, around the island, and sample offerings from about 40 competitors at 21 locations.

Capt. Clint Taylor, renowned for his fish dip, is working to organize the crawl, which is all outlined on the SGI Chili Crawl Facebook page.

Those who want to take part, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., can just pick up a map at the center of the island (or at the Facebook page) and then head out.

“We’re trying to keep it as spread out as possible,” said Taylor.

Most sites will have chili, some will have hot dogs, some might have fish dip such as the fresh batch of smoked amberjack Taylor is whipping up for the affair.

“Anything they want to,” he said. “They can do whatever they want.”

And it’s all volunteer and it’s all donations and it’s all pretty much non-competitive, although there will be winners announced at the end of the day – for Best Presentation, Best Chili and Most Money Raised – all based on votes received on the crawl’s Facebook page.

Island businesses are getting in on the action as well, as Journeys of SGI, Paddy’s Raw Bar, Sparks and Sons, Mango Mike’s, Harry A’s and Seaside Cotton Boutique all thus far plan to have booths.

In addition to the crawl, the cook-off organizers, who were forced to cancel the big event due to the coronavirus, still plan to host the golf tournament on Thursday, March 4 at St. James Bay, and the Red Pepper Run on Saturday morning, March 6

This 5k run, walk, and fun run will meet at Paddy’s Raw Bar for participants to pick up packets and get ready for the 8 a.m. star. After the race will be awards, coffee from Bayside Coffee Company, and a breakfast from Sparks and Sons Island Grocery and Paddy’s Raw Bar for all registered runners.

Online registration is required this year. Go to www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=232570  to fill out registration.

Plus there’s an online auction, where people can submit bids electronically, and that can be found on the Facebook page for the St. George Island Chili Cookoff.

If you have questions about Saturday’s crawl, or any of the day’s events, call Clint at (850) 370-6631.

This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Crawling for chili

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