IDAHO CITY, Idaho — The annual Idaho City Chili Cook-off represents an end of the winter celebration in Idaho City, but it also marks one of the biggest tourism days for this mountain community.
For 36 years businesses and visitors have participated in a chili cook-off that brings people to Idaho City for this unique event.
"It is a big deal there are thousands of people here and we pre-sold 800 ceramic bowls so we are really excited," said Rhonda Jameson of the Idaho City Chamber of Commerce. "There is a lot of community pride we are very excited about it."
Businesses welcome people to Idaho City for this event, but they also take part in the competition as Trudy's Kitchen has the manager and her husband cooking chili while the owners work at the restaurant.
Trudy's Kitchen helps raise money for the school, there is a booth for the senior center and the East Boise County Ambulance District also uses this event as a fundraiser.
"This is one of their biggest chances to be able to fundraise for their local organizations," said Jameson.
The town of Idaho City is the big winner because 20 contestants cook pots of chili, but they don't sell their chili it gets judged and then they pass it out to people who pay Idaho City to get a ceramic bowl.
The Spice Girls is a group that came from Boise to compete and even though their main goal was to have fun and defeat Steve Twilegar in the contest they also like helping out this small town.
"It really means a lot we love coming up here in the summer in the winter, we love the hiking trails, we love the snowshoeing trails and being able to support the town is super awesome," said Kacee. "Yeah, I grew up in the area and absolutely love Idaho City," said Kevie.
Jameson told us the funds would be used to beautify Idaho City and they are in the process of planning a grand new entrance for the town.