api chili challenge week 2019

Twenty-five teams across the Williston region are in chili challenge mode this week, conducting in-house contests to select the recipe they’ll take to the API chili cook-off. In this photo, MDU’s Monica Schroeder dips up a bowl of her chili for Dana Baxter.

1. Not only does this event feature the most delicious chili recipes in the Bakken, but participants have the chance to take home $20,000 in door prizes awarded each year.

Prizes range from things like a 50-inch flat screen television and a robot vacuum cleaner to services like four hours in a limousine, and many, many more.

This is actually a triple win for participants, because not only do you get to eat great chili and potentially win great prizes, but the Williston Basin Chapter of the American Petroleum Institute, which puts on this event, takes all of the money it raises and puts it back into the community for grants and scholarships.

This year, the organization has set as its goal reaching the $1 million mark in cumulative donations to the community.

That’s eight years and $1 million, which has gone toward things like neighborhood watch programs, equipment for the Opportunity Foundation, endowments for scholarships to Williston State College and much more.

All of which participants get to help with by simply having fun and eating great chili, for a mere $10 entry fee.

2. This year’s event, set for 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Grand Williston Hotel, features many of the same things that have made this such a popular event over the years, plus a few new quirks to make it better than ever before.

Among things that are the same, Slamabama will once again be the entertainment, and last year’s chili champions will be returning to defend their titles with more delicious chili than anyone can eat.

But, new this year, you’ll also be able to start eating that chili a bit earlier than before. Chili will now be served at 5 p.m., giving you more time to taste test the 25 different recipes available at the event. While you’re at it, enjoy a game or two at your favorite booths. These are generally new, fun challenges that the teams have put together to raise additional funds for the community. In year’s past, they have ranged from shooting and tests of strength to wheels of fortune and more.

Organizers also have a new game plan for the 50-50 drawing. This year, API is guaranteeing that it will give away at least $1,000. If more tickets are sold, the size of the money pot will be even greater, but it won’t be less than the minimum.

3. Many companies in the Oil Patch are on the waiting list to participate in this popular effort. While the event is primarily put on by oilfield companies trying to raise money for the community, you can help out even if your company isn’t in the oilfield, or on the waiting list.

Judges are always being sought to taste the chili and rate the booths for creativity and originality. Volunteers are also needed throughout the day to help with a variety of essential tasks. To assist as a volunteer that day, you must be 21 years or older. The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. timeframe is when the most volunteers are needed.

The event is also always seeking more sponsors, more prizes, and more donations. Those reaching certain levels of sponsorship get additional recognition during the event. For information about sponsorships, call 701-770-5030.


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