By Jean Seegers


ROCKTON – “Gentlemen (and ladies), get your bibs on! It’s time once again for the fourth annual Chili Cook-off and Bag Toss Tournament sponsored by Josh Ryan Cornerstone Wealth Management, and Rockton Lions Club.
Save Saturday, Feb. 21 for a day of fun and tasty eating. The event is a fundraising endeavor to support The Rockton Lion’s Club. Ryan is secretary of the group.
Fifteen local chefs will vie for the title of “Best Chili” at the American Center in Rockton. Doors open at 11a.m., Feb. 21. Chili judging is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Ryan said the event has grown steadily every year. February is a quiet time for the Rockton Lions Club.
The Wimpy’s food and clothing drive in December is over and Old Settlers Days isn’t until June. Ryan decided February would be a good time to bring people together and raise money for the Lion’s Club.
The Chili Cook-off is limited to 15 chefs. Entry fee is $25. The chili is cooked on-site, as required by the Winnebago County Health Department.
Judges will conduct blind taste tests. Serving as judges this year are: Steve Shannon from 97- ZOK, State Senator Steve Stadelman and Rockton resident Millicent Christopher.
Cash prizes will be awarded for Best Chili and Best Decorated Booth.
A third award, the People’s Choice Award will be decided by the amount of money in the “tips cups” at each contestant’s booth.
Bowls of chili can be purchased for $4. Chili flights (a taste of everything) will sell for $7.
Admission to the event is free. A cash bar will be open throughout the afternoon.  Attendees can take part in a 50-50 raffle.
The Bag Toss Tournament, sponsored by Whiskey’s Rockton Inn will be on-going throughout the afternoon, with cash prizes for the winners. Player sign-up begins at 11a.m. the day of the tournament. There is an entry fee of $25 per team of two players.
“Coming alone? – We’ll find you a partner,” Ryan said.
The day’s activities are designed to be very family-friendly and will include a Kids Bag Toss Tournament.
Ryan invites everyone to bring their appetites and bag tossing skills to the American Center, Feb 21.
Sponsors foe the event are RYCOM Creative Corp, Rookies Restaurant, and Fibbs Restaurant are sponsors of this year’s Chili cook-off.

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