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Linden prepares for eleventh annual ChiLLy Fest

Linden’s ChiLLy Fest is in its eleventh year, and the fun has only grown since its inception. Before it was known as ChiLLy Fest, Events Coordinator Bruce Ward said it was a Christmas parade in 2006. In the year following, The ChiLLy Fest Cook-off was added, and, in 2008, the celebrations were officially dubbed as ChiLLy Fest.

“The idea of adding a chili cook-off just stuck, and it grew from there,” Ward said.

Since 2008, several other events spanning the course of two days have become part of ChiLLy Fest, including a carnival, food and crafts vendors, a concert, a car show and fireworks.

“It’s just gotten the community more involved and working together. We’re very happy with the way it’s evolved over the years and with people getting involved,” Ward  said.

This year, ChiLLy Fest will take place Dec.13-14 at ChiLLy Fest Park. On Friday, there will be a carnival beginning at 4 p.m. lasting all evening, an Anything But Cook-off from 6-9 p.m., the Chili Cookers Party and a free concert from Farmer’s Daughter. On Saturday, festival-goers can look forward the second day of the carnival, plus food and crafts vendors from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christmas Music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the ChiLLy Fest Cruise In Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Chili and Cornbread Cook-off judging at 11 a.m. with the public serving at noon, the Christmas Parade of Lights in downtown Linden at 6:30 p.m. and the Fireworks Extravagance following the parade.

The best parade float will win $100. The first-place winner in the Chili and Cornbread Cook-off will take home $500, second place will receive $250 and third place will receive $100. The competitor with the best cornbread will also win $100.

Deadlines to apply for forms are Dec. 9 for cook-off participants and craft vendors and Dec. 13 for parade entries.

A full list of events, times and all necessary forms can be found at www.lindenalabama.net/events/chilly_fest.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, November 27 issue of the Demopolis Times.)