Photo by Aaron Ricca.
KINGMAN – The only thing hotter than the continuing heat wave this weekend was the chili in the Hualapai Mountains.
By 10 a.m., temperatures were edging closer to the 100 mark in Kingman proper. Fourteen miles away, roughly 2,000 feet higher and a few degrees cooler, the Hualapai Mountain Resort was holding their eighth “Chili in the Pines” chili cook-off Saturday.
Organizer Ron Kutil said this is the first year back for the food-fest after a three-year hiatus. Apparently people missed it, because the resort’s parking lot was packed and people were scrambling for shade in between taster samples of chili from the ten different chili cooking teams vying for a first place title.
The Jeff Evers Band provided a rock and blues soundtrack and Kutil himself, along with staff, served up hot dogs, soda, cold beer and cocktails.
All proceeds for the chili entry fees, admission, food and drink sales went toward the Pine Lake Fire District.
“We have to hold events like this for our small department,” said Fire Chief Greg LaFamne.
The money usually goes toward pensions for the mostly all volunteer department. The chief and assistant chief positions are paid. All other positions are filled by the time and effort of volunteers to ensure the safety of the Pine Lake community.
Money raised this year will go toward thermal imaging equipment that can help locate hotspots after area brush and forest fires, as well as find lost hikers.
LaFamne said the chili cook-off usually rakes in $1,000 to $2,000 each year.
“This is a great effort on the part of the people,” he said. “And some great chili, too.”
Kutil invites the public to continue to help the PLFD by hitting the greens during a two-day golf tournament at Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course July 14-15. The entry fee is $90 and includes the greens fee, a “Goody Bag” and dinner Friday night and lunch Saturday at the Hualapai Mountain Resort.
For more information, contact the resort at (928)757-3545 or Kutil at 928-713-6005.