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Holiday celebration scheduled

Chili cook off highlights annual event

    The best chili in town will be determined on Thursday, Dec. 7 at Statesboro's annual holiday celebration, held in the Boro's downtown.
    You'll be able to find out the hot winner when dozens of people and restaurants battle it out for the top chili in various categories, including best overall chili, people's choice and more.
    This year, organizers added a category for restaurants to bring their chili to find out which one has the best.
    "We've had a lot of restaurants call and ask about it," said Stephanie Howell, director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority. "We want them to compete against each other."
    The chili cook off is the highlight of the celebration, said Stephanie Howell, executive director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, which is sponsoring the event.
    "Last year we had between 15 and 20, and we're hoping to have 30 this year. That's our goal," Howell said.
    Also scheduled for the night is the 5K Jingle Bell Reindeer Run, a "Winter Wonderland" kids area, live musical performances and an opportunity to have pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
    The deadline to register for the chili cook off is Friday. Applications are available online at (click on public notices) or at the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority office located inside the Averitt Center.
    East Main Street will be closed beginning at 2 p.m. with vendors being allowed to begin setting up at 3 p.m. The chili cook off contestants will be in the parking lot across from city hall, known for the day as "Chili Town."
    In addition to all the events associated with the celebration, downtown stores will remain open to allow customers to have extra time to shop.
    This is the seventh year of the downtown holiday celebration, which Howell said continues to attract people year after year.
    "People come down to see what we have going on and to see people they may not have seen in a while," she said. "They happen to meet up at the celebration."
    For more information, contact Howell at (912) 764-7227

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