Hundreds celebrate Guns ‘n Hoses Chili Cookoff fundraiser

Published 12:53 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

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Community unites to raise cash for Tryon Fire Alliance


TRYON—Hundreds attended the inaugural Guns ‘n Hoses Chili Cookoff in Tryon on Friday. 

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From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., downtown Tryon ignited with flavor as teams consisting of firefighters, police, EMS and other businesses and organizations offered sample cups of their best chili recipes, with the winner being determined via monetary donations. 

“This is a great idea,” said Cody Vaughn of the Tryon Fire Department. “It brings everybody into the small-knit community, and I’d like to see this continue on in the next few years.” 

“I feel really great about the event, and I think it went really well. A lot of people turned out,” said Ryan Mesa, co-owner of Back Alley Bud Bar and Boutique of Tryon. “The vendors were all running out of chili, and everything was really delicious and people seemed really supportive.” 

People’s Choice first place went to ‘You’ll be Dead as Roadkill,’ with second and third places being awarded to ‘Burn, Baby, Burn’ and ‘Gowensville Chili Chiefs,’ respectively. Judge’s Choice, along with the Copper Cauldron, was claimed by ‘Team KD’ of K.D.’s Sea Shack. 

A total of $1,158 was raised for the Tryon Fire Alliance. 

“My town is full of people,” said Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples. “You’ve got chili, you’ve got firemen, you’ve got police, you’ve got regular people. Whatever you want is here.”

“It was a blast, like Tryon was on fire…with flavor!” said organizer and Tryon Fire Department Public Information Officer Steven Siler. “We saw hundreds of neighbors come out to support the 15 teams, as well as the local businesses. We achieved exactly what we had hoped: showcasing the Friendliest Town in the South.

“We can’t wait to do it again next year!”