By Jeremy Ratliff
The Antigo/Langlade County Chamber of Commerce stands ready to kick off another holiday season this week with the 18th annual Chili Cook-Off and annual Christmas Parade on Wednesday.
The 2015 Christmas Parade is set for a 5:30 start time. Participants are asked to line up at St. Johns Catholic Church for judging.
Participants will be judged in three categories; clubs and organizations, business and commercial, and individual and family.
Prizes for judging will consist of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category.
Place winners will be awarded chamber gift certificates.
The parade will proceed on 6th Avenue, turn north on Field Street, west on 5th Avenue, north on Dorr Street, east on 3rd Avenue to St.Mary’s & Hyacinth’s parking lot.
The Chamber is asking participants to not leave floats unattended in case they need to be moved and for safety’s sake; keep spacing as directed by parade volunteers.
Last year the parade consisted of 40 participants.
“We sure would like to see more this year!” comments chamber executive director Deena Grabowsky.
Grabowsky would also like to remind parade onlookers to stay as close to the curb as possible, both for the safety of others and to allow the parade to flow smoothly.
“One of our floats this year will include a semi-truck so the more room we can give our participants the better,” Grabowsky adds.
Chili Cook Off:
The chamber’s 18th annual Chili Cook-Off will start at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, lasting until 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, with sampling to begin at 5:30.
In exchange for a $20 entry fee, cook-off participants must create one roaster of chili, from start to finish, on the sidewalks along 5th Avenue in Antigo.
The chamber is once again asking folks to decorate their booths this year with a chili theme.
“We had a great turnout last year with 36 participants,” Grabowsky adds. “Just like the parade, we are hoping for more this year! We already have several new entrants this year, so we are pretty excited!”
First, second and third place prizes will be given for winners in two categories; roughneck and traditional.
Trophies as well as gift certificates will be given for all placers, while 1st place winners will also be given a traveling plaque, on which the winners’ names will be engraved.
Waukesha Bearing was last year’s 1st place winner in the Roughneck category, while Palace Theater took 1st in the Traditional category.
Waukesha Bearing returns to defend their title in 2015. However, Palace Theater has a prior commitment and cannot attend, so their title will be up for grabs.