The team from Lake Haven Trailer Park claimed all three top prizes at the 18th Annual Smith Mountain Lake Fall Chili and Craft Festival, which took place Nov. 6 at Bridgewater Plaza.
Lake Haven won first place for Best Chili in blind judging, which was conducted by a member panel on the stage at Mango’s Bar & Grill. They also won the Showmanship and People’s Choice awards, which are voted on by festival attendees, according to Erin Stanley, Events Director for the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber, which organizes the annual event.
Winning chili was determined based on taste, consistency, aroma, color and bite. CS Infused Catering (Hot Blonde Chili) finished second and Mallori Teegarden State Farm Insurance (Louisiana Chili) placed third.
In the People’s Choice category, Drifter’s finished second and Mallori Teegarden State Farm Insurance was third. For Showmanship, second place went to Saber Rock 'N Rollater Chili and SML Rotary Club claimed third place.
“We could not have asked for a more perfect fall day at Smith Mountain Lake,” Stanley said. “The weather and atmosphere were truly amazing. People were having so much fun, not only tasting great chili and shopping at the booths of cool craft vendors, but just being outside with friends and family.”
Nearly 2,000 people enjoyed tastings from 12 cooker teams, as well as live music from three bands: Tate Tuck, Fuzzy Logic and Gypsy Nics. In addition, 31 craft vendors participated, displaying their wares along the decks at Bridgewater Plaza.
Official Chili Festival t-shirts are still on sale at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center at Bridgewater Plaza. They’re available in multiple colors with long-sleeve and short-sleeve options.