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Fort St. John's annual Chili Bowl Bash celebrates 15 years

Mother Nature pushes event indoors

It was one, if not, the hottest ticket in town Saturday night, and by hot, we don't mean the heat of the chili.

Despite a last-minute change in location due to the weather, the 15th annual North Peace Potters Guild's Chili Bowl Bash lived up to its history.

“We had about 40 members create the 210 or so ceramic bowls you see here tonight,” said chili bowl coordinator Barb Wagner.

“We start making them in January. Of course, the big panic is May,” she jokes.

On average, a bowl can take up to 36 hours of work from start to finish, with plenty of time in between for the process of curing and glazing.

Each of the members, Wagner said, were asked to offer up their five best.

“This is our 15th year. The last two years, we held the event online.”

While the bash is traditionally at the Arts Post on 94th Avenue, Saturday's rain shifted it to the Festival Plaza building.

“We have 21 different types of chili, nine chefs, and each chef made at least two crock pots...the odd one made three,” Wagner said.

“I'm not sure where Jessica found all of our chefs but she found them.”

Even before the event started, the guild had already raised its first $3500 with the 100 pre-sold tickets quickly snapped up.

In fact, some of the local social media discussion boards had people asking if anyone had a spare ticket.

A silent auction will also add to the amount of money raised.

Besides being a fundraiser, it's also a friendly competition, added Wagner.

“So when they come in the door, they're going to pick their bowl. They're then going to go get a sample from each of the stations (as often as they want) and then choose the best.”

Organizers should know within the next couple of days just how much the event brought in, but it certainly did have a different feel to it this year.

Score this one: North Peace Potters Guild 1, Mother Nature 0.