Mostly spicy with a chance of rain

By Eric Finkler
The MSU Gallery won last year\'s BWL Chili Cook-off for Most Creative Booth for its Smurf set-up. Courtesy photo

Weather could play a factor in this year's BWL Chili Cook-off

Friday, May 31 — Should the food at Lansing Board of Water and Light’s 18th Annual Chili Cook-off be too hot, chili-heads may get cooled off with an 80 percent chance of rain.

From 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Adado Riverfront Park, 501 N Grand Ave. this year’s Mardi Gras themed chili cook-off will include awards for contestants, a duck derby, a chili dog eating competition, a mechanical bull and more.

The rain is expected to arrive around 9 p.m., giving visitors a chance to try many of the chili samples before potential dilution. Awards for the most creative chili name, chili booth, best meatless chili and people’s choice will be held near the end of the event. Proceeds will go to the Impression 5 Science Center, H.O.P.E Scholarship program and the Sparrow Foundation.

The annual event started in 1996 as part of Lansing’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” event by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, it was picked up and sponsored by BWL in 1997 and has grown to become one of the major summer celebrations held in Lansing.

More than 1,500 gallons of chili were consumed at least year’s cook-off. That number should be about the same, as long as the rain holds off.

Admission is $12 for ages 12 and up, $5 for children 6-12 and free for ages under 6.