|The turnout for the annual Christmas chili cook-off and parade offered proof that Antigonians will put up with cold and snow, but when it comes to a frigid rain, it is a different story.|
The crowds on the street for the usually packed event were down a bit, but there were still plenty to devour dozens and dozens of roasters of chili, applaud floats and cheer the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
The annual Antigo/Langlade County Chamber of Commerce event drew a crowd for the chili sampling, which this year featured booths from east of Field Street to the 100 block of Fifth Avenue, where those roasters had been steaming away for most of the late morning and afternoon.
“Considering the weather, it went fantastic,” Deena Grabowsky said after most signs of the big event had been cleared from Fifth Avenue.
She saluted the spirit of the Antigo and Langlade County residents who registered the floats and made the chili for “hanging in there” despite the cold rain that fell nearly all of Wednesday.
“Only three parade entries didn’t make it,” she said, adding that one of them was the Antigo High School Marching band and another was a motorcycle group.
“I completely understand,” she added.
The chamber of commerce also provided a list of winners.
In the chili competition:
Roughneck: Hydratight, first, Antigo Area Shopper, second, BB-GB-TB, third.
Traditional: Sartori, first, city of Antigo, second, Waukesha Bearings, third.
In the chili-themed booths, winners were Parsons of Antigo, first, Kretz Trucking and Brokerage, second and BMO Harris Bank, third.
In the parade:
Clubs/organizations: Deerbrook Eager Beavers 4-H Club, first; Boy Scout Troop 644, second, Boys and Girls Club of Langlade County, third.
Business/commercial: Trio Hair Studio, first, Kretz Lumber, second and Lakeside Market/Nature’s Heat Source, third.
In the “other” division: Northcentral Technical College was the winner.
Grabowsky thanked the judges who tasted those entries.
They included Tammy Rajek, Antigo Veterinary Clinic, Chris Knapkavage, Mid Wisconsin Beverages, Randy Buchkowski, BMO Harris, Rob Perry, County Materials in the roughneck division.
In the traditional chili they were Bill Brandt and Katy Podpovetnaia, Rotary exchange student from Krasnador, Russia, Kris Page, Antigo Area Community Food Pantry, Kim McCann, Antigo Dental Clinic, Rick Rotzell, Rick’s 45 Roadhouse.
Santa and his mate were under an umbrella to cap the parade here.