Beckley, WV – (WWNR) – A week’s delay and colder weather didn’t stop large crowds from filling the streets of uptown Beckley Saturday evening. The annual Chili Night celebration featured restaurants, businesses and organizations offering samples of their best chili.
“It was a big night, it sure was,” said Jill Moorefield of Beckley Events, the organizer of Chili Night. “We had 25 chili vendors, 30 non-chili vendors, 8 bands. We originally sold out of our 2400 strips of tickets in an hour and fifteen minutes and had to find some other tickets to sell. It was a big night and I think people had a great time.”
Among the chili vendors were some new faces, like Hilltop Coffee with its unique, coffee flavored chili, and the recently opened Fruits Of Labor Cafe. Although they ran out of chili, they stayed open, serving desserts, pastries and other items.
“We had customers coming right back and getting their chips in, saying it was the best chili that they had,” said Sabrina Greaser, a trainee at the Fruits Of Labor Cafe. “We were just on America’s Best Restaurants a couple of weeks ago and they said it was the greatest chili ever. Tuesday thru Friday from 11 to 3 o’clock we have the same chili and a special soup of the week and we have specials every day. So yes, come at any time Tuesday thru Friday 11 to 3 and we’ll have the same kind of chili on sale.”
One of the busiest chili vendors Saturday night was the Beckley Fire Department and Eckley Orthodonics, making a return appearance after two years away.
“It’s been an awesome night tonight, ” said Rick Fisher of the Beckley Fire Department. “We’ve served about 1200 people. We had a hot (chili), a medium, an original and also a vegetarian. We ran out of the hot first, but it was probably the least amount we made. It’s a great time, we’re glad everybody could come out and enjoy some good chili and hopefully we’ll see everybody next year.”
In addition to all the chili and other food, there was music of all kinds at the Cardinals Statue, at Word Park and in Shoemaker Square.
A number of trophies were handed out for the best chili, including the coveted People’s Choice Award to Best Ambulance.
The end of Chili Night was disrupted around 8:15pm when gunshots were heard in the area of the Charles House a few blocks away on South Heber Street. Beckley Police officers assigned to Chili Night and officers on-duty immediately converged on the area. No victims were located and no injuries were reported. Police said it appeared that the incident was unrelated to Chili Night.