Warm feelings expected to prevail at chili contest


March 19, 2001|By Douglas Lamborne | Douglas Lamborne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

POLITICAL DISCOURSE in Annapolis can get sulfurous on occasion, as evidenced in recent discussion over loitering zones and voter registration IDs. But there is one night when comity replaces flame-throwing - the Citywide Chili Tasting Contest sponsored by the Community Associations of Annapolis.

The CAA's fifth contest will take place Thursday in the boathouse at St. John's College.

Judges will be this year's mayoral candidates, including Republican incumbent, Dean L. Johnson, and his Democratic challengers Al Hopkins, Sylvanus Jones, Maureen Lamb and Ellen Moyer.

"This is an excellent way to verify that all candidates can distinguish between the better and the best, while demonstrating their ability to take the heat," Johnson said.

They will be judging pots of chili representing various city neighborhoods. The CAA is made up of most of the civic associations in Annapolis, which, in turn, choose their competitors.

Said CAA President Gilbert Renaut: "Just about everybody likes chili, and this event is aimed at bringing out the people who haven't the patience for a two-hour civic association meeting, but enjoy meeting residents from all parts of Annapolis and talking about common interests over chili."

The CAA's more active members tend not to be shrinking violets. On chili night, however, they traditionally set aside the brimstone they thrive on for much of the rest of the year.

Last year's top three concoctions came from Ambridge (cooked by Mike Jordon), West Annapolis (Phyllis Richardson) and Ward One (Maureen Lamb). Ann Hillyer of Murray Hill created the hottest pot.

This year's competitors include Admiral Heights (Dick Coss), Ambridge (David Lubrani), Eastport (Mike Miron and Meg Moffatt), Fairfax Road (Van Nield), Germantown-Homewood (Judy Dein), Ward One (Todd Lamb), Wardour (Bill Smith), Weems Creek (Liz McWethy) and West Annapolis (Richardson, again). Several other associations are expected to come on board.

The contest is open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5, and a cash bar and appetizers will be available. Judges and cooks are expected at 6 p.m.

The event has two purposes: to bring together some of the disparate elements in the city and to raise money to help CAA with the political debates it will stage this year. And the debates, assuredly, will be combustible.


The Maritime Republic of Eastport will stage its third annual ".05-K Eastport Bridge Walk/Run" and "Dog Day Afternoon" at noon Saturday.

Registration for both events is required at Eastport Elementary School beginning at 10:30 a.m. The entry fee for the run is $15, and $10 for dog events. Proceeds will go to charities in the region.

Cindy Fletcher-Holden, the MRE's "Prime Mistress," describes the run over the Spa Creek bridge as "a slight rise, followed by a slight decline, with a convenient water stop halfway over."

The second part of the program includes events for best dog trick, best-dressed dog, best dog vocalist, best dog kisser, hairiest dog, smallest dog, and for dogs and owners who look alike. In addition to the entry fee, there is a $2 registration fee for each contest in which a dog is entered.

Both events were established three years ago as part of ceremonies marking the establishment of the Maritime Republic of Eastport. It was founded as a mock country to help Eastport businesses survive the six weeks of closure for repairs of the bridge over Spa Creek. The MRE has persisted as a fund-raising mechanism for charities.

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