Family event seasoned with fun things to do and chili to eat

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Hoola-hooping abound at Fairview on the Green, coming up Saturday, Aug. 16 at Fairview Community Park.Friends of Fairview presents the eighth annual Fairview on the Green chili festival Saturday, Aug. 16.

The former city-run event had a rocky transition to private management this year, but in early June supporters reached their fundraising goal and raised enough money to continue the festival.

“Our sponsors have been very giving and helpful this year,” said Brian Cooper, director of Fairview on the Green. “And many of them are participating in the festival themselves.”

Held at Fairview Community Park next to City Hall, the festival and chili competition will feature music, food, drinks, games and activities for kids, and the much-awaited chili cook-off.

Cooper said the committee has worked hard to make the event a success.

“Fundraising is only the first step in a year-long campaign to bring the community the best festival we can,” he said.

Organized by volunteers of the Friends of Fairview Committee for the past two years, the city’s signature chili festival also is supported by a host of local and corporate sponsors as well as the city of Fairview.

Festival favorites returning this year include Oldies 106.7 personality Scott Tom, live music from Tuesday’s Project, an International Chili Society-sanctioned chili cook-off, an inflatable children’s play area, Home Depot kids workshop, scavenger hunt, and many food and craft vendors.

Two new additions to the festival include the “Fairview Chili Dash” 5k run through Salish Pond Park trails and “Chalk the Walk” sidewalk chalk art competition.

“I hope to see everyone enjoying a fun, relaxing day in Fairview,” Cooper said. “There is plenty of grass to relax on.”

So far, there are six chili competitors signed up for the contest, vying for $1,500 in prizes. Cooper said the event needs 10 to be considered an International Chili Society-sanctioned event, so he hopes a few more people will join at the last minute.

Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Crowds get a taste of annual chili festival in Fairview.Tami Riordan, 41, has been going with her family to the chili cook-off for four years now. This will be the second year the Fairview resident will compete.

Riordan will spend all of Friday evening prepping to make chili for the contest’s four categories — red, green, salsa and people’s choice.

According to the rules, competitors have only three hours to cook the chili from scratch at the park.

Beginning at 8:15 a.m., Riordan will begin toiling away behind a booth she and her family have themed “Raider Pride.” She and her husband, kids and mothers all attended Reynolds High School.

Saturday afternoon, all chili will be handed over to a panel of judges for a blind tasting.

While judges will decide who makes the best red, green and salsa chili, event goers get to pick their favorite for people’s choice.

“That’s the biggest competition among all the cooks,” Riordan said.

Last year, she won first place for her red chili and second for salsa, and is hoping to take home another few titles.

“I love cooking and trying new things,” said Riordan, who had never cooked chili until last year. She said with a family of six, there are always hungry mouths to feed.

Riordan took her husband’s suggestion to enter the contest and has been testing all kinds of recipes ever since.

“I hope a lot of people show up — it’s been fun every year,” Riordan said.

Proceeds from the festival will directly benefit the Rey-nolds Youth Football Association, a nonprofit organization that provides athletic opportunities to underprivileged youth in East County.

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