Dave Bond and Real Country led off the afternoon. Dave also provided a hay wagon for hayrides.
Note the trophies to the left of the big pumpkin in the middle -- right below Dave in white shirt and black hat.
Ever popular, Dave and Real Country's following came to cheer on a great performance. After the Dave finished, Cindy Yard, County Administrator and organizer of the Chili Contest, grabbed a bunch of folks and had a line dancing lesson. Entertainment for those dancing as well as those watching!
Next came the Blue Notes -- second band of the night.... A big thank you to Tom Antosiewicz for giving up his time and convincing his buddies to do the same.
And then the announcement came: time to make sure everyone voted for their favorite First Responder and favorite Professional chilis...
Three winners were announced and the three trophies were given out: Best Decorated (and certainly most enthusiastic team) went to the County Seat's Flemington Fire Department. FFD decked out their table with a flaming tablecloth and fire truck and Dalmatian balloons and had wrist bands, candy and firemen's hats for the kids as giveaways.
The trophy for best First Responder Chili went to the 104 year old fire company Hampton Fire Department. The team, which included Freeholder Director Rob Walton, sporting train engineer hats and matching navy blue company t-shirts, created a great chili with all the fixin's.
Finally, the most coveted of all trophies, the best Professional, was a close one. People were raving about Matt's Red Rooster's smoky chili all afternoon, Blue Fish's amazing mellow chili and the creamy, delicious cornbread (and chili) by Mad Cow (Lebanon Deli in Lebanon Borough) but the winner of the People's Choice went to the Mountain View Chalet. Words like "richness," "depth," "deep" and "mouth feel" were bantered around by the cook-off's samplers to describe Mountain View Chalet's chili. Whatever anyone wanted to say about it, it was agreed it was simply delicious.
A big thank you to all of the participants, volunteers, and donors who helped out the 300th on this event: Dave Bond and Real Country, Tom Antosiewicz and Blue Notes, Shop Rite of Hunterdon, our great friend, John Keating who got us the beer and made us a wonderful sign, the Hunterdon CERT team, our wonderful line dancing instructors, county employees who volunteered their time, the Parks Department and of course, the many, many judges who came, ate, voted and enjoyed. If I forgot anyone, I'm sorry -- you were all great and it was a great event. We hope everyone had fun -- we certainly know you had enough to eat!