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The Times
  • Frankfort Fire Department wins Chilipalooza again

  • The Frankfort Fire Department, once again, has bragging rights for having the best chili around. The department won the second annual Chilipalooza event on Friday at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, which pitted them against other fire departments and nonprofits.

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  • The Frankfort Fire Department, once again, has bragging rights for having the best chili around. The department won the second annual Chilipalooza event on Friday at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds, which pitted them against other fire departments and nonprofits.
    “We make our chili on site,” said Glen Asnoe, who stirred a large, rectangular pan of chili with a wooden spoon during the event. He said 45 pounds of meat from Melrose Meat Market was purchased for the event.
    Though they won top recognition for a second year in a row, Asnoe said it was about having fun.
    Rich Maneen, fellow firefighter and part of the chili team, agreed.
    “It’s a good thing for the community to come out and do,” he said.
    A cash prize was awarded to the Frankfort Fire Department for winning.
    Big Frog 104 and Lite 98.7 broadcast live during the event.
    Performing during the event were Paul Case, Gary Johnson and the Van Halen tribute band Panama.
    Taking second place was the Schuyler Fire Department and third place went to newcomer Mother Marianne’s Westside Kitchen.
    “I had no idea what I was doing,” said Tom Smith, with the Utica soup kitchen, about making the chili. “It was kind of basic, but then I started putting in anything within my reach.”
    Smith said he had people tasting the chili throughout the day to see how good it was.
    Keith Kulpa, vice president of the Clark Mills Fire Department, returned with members from his department. He said they decided to stick with what they did last year, including serving cornbread.
    “A lot of people liked it last year,” he said.
    Kulpa said they also used four kinds of peppers and four kinds of beans in their recipe.
    “It’s to make it more flavorful,” he said.
    Karen Semeraro, of Utica, sampled some of the chili with friends.
    “We like chili and we like music,” she said.
    Semeraro then added after a friend mentioned it, “And beer, too.”
    “It’s a very good combination,” said Semeraro, who noted she liked the cup sizes used for the chili. “They’re nice, little sizes so you can try them all.”
    Helen LaMore and Joann Zurek, with the Red Hat Society, were there with their group.
    “[People] are having a good time trying them all and we all like something different,” she said.
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