CORTLAND, N.Y. — Twenty-one restaurants handed out samples of homemade chili and winter-themed desserts as part of the 12th annual ChillaBration Festival in downtown Cortland Saturday.
Evan Souzas, owner of Community Restaurant, served Chili Cheese Dog Eggrolls for this year’s chili concoction. Community took last year’s ChillaBration trophy for its Bourbon Steak Chili recipe.
“The event helps bring people downtown and get a chance to try a bunch of different restaurants,” Souzas said. “Even if they don’t try the food, they can still come into the restaurants and potentially come back for dinner another time.”
Sinfully Sweet Café, based in Homer, found a temporary home at the festival at Cheerful & Creative, a downtown art studio, to participate in its first-ever ChillaBration.
“It’s nice to get out of the shop and see the public, as well as some familiar faces,” owner Stacy Pryor said, who said small businesses should “stick together to get noticed by the public.”
The Polar Pie Eating contest was hosted by the VFW Post on Main Street. Contestants competed to eat as many frozen pancakes as possible within two minutes. Last year’s champion, Tyler Signor, returned to dominate the competition, taking home the Viking helmet once again.
Spiedini’s Pizza Parlor took home the trophy for its Spiedi Chili, while BRU 64 claimed the title of Best Winter Flavor for its Bru Coco.