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Chili contest to heat up Carlton's Winterfest

Beat the winter blahs by heading to Carlton on Saturday, Feb. 10, for some good old-fashioned family fun. Mother Nature is breaking out the sunshine and temperatures will be balmy in the mid teens.

Bring a broom, bat or a tennis racket or whatever can be swung for the first ever Mini Hook-and-Slice game at the 22nd annual Carlton Winterfest. All of the events will be at the Four Seasons Sports Complex, except the firemen's bingo, which will be at Carlton High School.

A $5 ticket buys unlimited rounds of the hook-and-slice, as well as a cash drawing and other prizes.

New this year are vendors, who will be set up inside the Four Seasons, displaying a variety of homemade goodies and handmade crafts.

The indoor open family skate will be held most of the afternoon. No pucks or sticks are allowed during that time.

The Zoomobile will be back again this year, as will fun games, face painting and free books.

Be sure to stop by for the annual chili cook off where several competitors will be vying for first place. There are usually between 12-20 entries, including several members of a family who compete in fun against each other. There is no fee to compete, just come early to register for the contest.

"We have a few rivalries among the group and most of the contestants get into the contest more for bragging rights than the prizes," chili organizer Joel Soukkala said. "We have a number of contestants who have been bringing their chili for years ... it can get quite heated, but it is all in good fun."

Jerry Atkinson took first place last year, his mother-in-law was second and Fireball Elwood placed third.

He added that kids are encouraged to enter their favorite chili recipe and the public is welcome to sample the chili's after the judging is done.

Winterfest draws to an end at the high school with the Carlton Firemen's Bingo at 7 p.m.

See the calendar for a complete schedule.