Chili contest heats up at Alberni’s Kingsway Hotel

Patrons will have a gas at a chili cookoff at the Kingsway Hotel on Saturday. The event is being held to raise funds for Ty Watson House hospice.

Pauline Arbanas of the Kingsway Hotel gets ready for the second annual chili cookoff

Who has the best chili in the Alberni Valley? The Kingsway Hotel aims to find out this Saturday, April 16 as staff prepare to host the second annual chili cookoff.

Twelve teams will offer their fiery best for members of the public to judge. Manager Pauline Arbanas already had a full slate earlier this week and more on a waiting list hoping someone would chicken out at the last minute.

Of the top three winners last year, only third-place winner Darlene Kemps is coming back for another shot. Two other repeat cooks will be there too. “Nine of them are new contestants,” Arbanas said.

Last year’s inaugural event raised about $1,200 for the Ty Watson House Hospice. Arbanas hopes to raise at least $1,500 this year for the same charity.

The Kingsway fundraises for the hospice year-round, running weekly meat draws and other events. With the chili contest money the establishment raised $17,000 in 2010, she said.

“It’s a local charity and the money remains local, which I like,” she added.

Tickets to the tasting are $8.50 at the door and include buns and dessert. Tasting begins at 5:30 p.m. Big Daddy will provide live music from 8 p.m. to midnight, and a free shuttle service is available from 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The Kingsway is located at 3203 First Ave.

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