HAVELOCK, N.C. --
The spicy and savory aroma of North Carolina’s top
tier chili filled the air of the Walter B. Jones Park in Havelock as patrons
from near and far came to get their taste buds delighted by the delectable
morsels of chili cooked up by some of the most dedicated chefs on this side of
the Mason-Dixon Line.
The Havelock Chamber of Commerce hosted the 34th
annual Chili Festival with the assistance of volunteers from the Single Marine
Program of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and members of the local
community to raise funds for local charities.
The festival included a chili and Buffalo wings
cook-off to determine which group of participants should come out on top, Oct.
“The chili festival is one of the largest events in
Havelock,” said Stephanie Duncan, the executive director for the Havelock
Chamber of Commerce. “With the help of many, including Marine volunteers, we
were able to reduce the amount of money spent on hired help and put that toward
increasing donations for the local charities.”
SMP Marines came together to help set up the booths
that housed the chili and chicken vendors, supervise the children’s bouncy
house activities and make the park spotless again at the conclusion of the
“I do not think we could have had done this without
the involvement of the air station and the volunteers,” said Duncan. “The SMP Marines
definitely helped with their time, as well as their brawn.”
Along with SMP volunteers, the 2nd Marine Aircraft
Wing rock band performed for patrons and the Cherry Point Provost Marshal’s
Office provided traffic safety equipment as well as lights, to ensure patrons’
safe travels while navigating on the festival grounds.
“The festival is a pretty big tradition in
Havelock,” said Sgt. Brendan Cregg, a percussionist with the 2nd MAWing Band.
“It attracts people from the local and surrounding communities.”
The winners of the competition, Dave Violette and
Clay Jones, will go on to represent the entire state of North Carolina in the
International World Chili Championship.
“I love the entertainment and I am big fan of the food,
especially funnel cakes, chili and chicken,” said Cregg. “I would invite
anyone, especially Marines on base, to come out and support the community and see
what Havelock has to offer. This event is not something they will want to miss,
especially with food this delicious.”