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Photo Information

Participants wait in line as they prepare to taste chili from Nana’s Famous Chili booth during the 34th annual Havelock Chili Festival hosted by the Havelock Chamber of Commerce at the Walter B. Jones Park in Havelock, N.C., Oct. 16, 2015. Along with the assistance of Marine volunteers and other volunteers, the chamber raises funds for local charities and sees who has the best chili and Buffalo wings. The winner goes on to compete in the International World Chili Championship. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez

34th annual Havelock Chili Festival spices up the weekend

20 Oct 2015 | Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

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. 16-17.

“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 festival.

“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.”

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing