Wilderness Trail Distillery Charity Chili Cook-Off benefits children and senior citizens

Published 3:12 pm Monday, September 20, 2021

The fourth Wilderness Trail Charity Chili Cook-Off returns Sept. 25 at Wilderness Trail Distillery. This event aids the Danville Kiwanis’ programs for local youth and seniors.

Competing teams include ones from locally-owned restaurants as well as cooks who know their way around the kitchen and make a mean pot of chili. When all the chilis and onions are diced and the other secret ingredients added, a team of judges will select the top three trophy winners.

All guests with $10 tasting tickets will have a chance to vote for the People’s Choice. Tickets are available at the door while they last or may be purchased in advance from a Kiwanis member or at the distillery’s Visitors Center.

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Tasting is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m.
What goes great with chili? Of course, as a bourbon distillery, Wilderness Trail thinks Bourbon does, but in this case, the distillery is excited to note that Country Boy Brewery will be selling several varieties of its beer.
Along with the food and drink, the event will include music. Pat Heist, co-owner of Wilderness Trail Distillery, is a vocalist in the band Zella May and they will perform 2 to 4 p.m. Minus 3 will open up for Zella May from 1 to 2 p.m.

Guests are invited to bring a lawn chair or grab a seat on a hay bale and settle in for the afternoon.

For anyone who is not a chili fan, the Danville High School and Bate Middle School girls’ basketball teams will be selling hot dogs, soft drinks, and bottled water.

Other fun activities include horse and wagon rides for $3 per person and guess the weight of the giant pumpkin for $1 to win a prize. This is a family-friendly event.

In 2019, the event’s sponsors, cooks, and tasters raised $7,100 for the Kiwanis’ mission. One of the Kiwanis’ biggest programs is to help local youth at the holidays, a tradition that began more than 90 years ago. The Kiwanis Club purchases a coat, shoes, and other clothing items for the children and invites them to a lunch to receive their gifts.

Twenty years ago, the Boyle County Senior Citizens Center became recipients of the holiday project and other programs, too.

The Kiwanis Club receives the names of the children they help from Salvation Army, Wilderness Trace Child Development Center, Danville & Boyle County Family Resources, and Sunrise Children’s Home. No other agency helps these children in this capacity.

Wilderness Trail Distillery, established in 2012, produces two types of Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a single barrel wheated mashbill and a small batch high rye mashbill, as well as a rye whiskey.