Fernandina Beach, Florida – The Fernandina Pirates are advancing their marauding hordes across the Florida-Georgia border and will descend upon the Annual Mardi Gras Festival featuring the Great Camden County Chili Cook Off & Pet Parade on Saturday, February 18, 2012. This charitable event will take place at Gilman Waterfront Park in St. Marys, Georgia from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Other teams include: Jackson Hewett’s Bean Counter Chili, United Way’s Suess Chefs, Osprey Cove Men’s Group The Chili Chili – Bang Bangs, Salivation Conflagration, The Chili Chicks, and many others.
The Chili Cook Off challenges families, businesses, civic clubs, realtors, schools, organizations, and individuals to put their most prized chili recipes to the test for charity. Last year’s event boasted a range of delicious recipes from the mild to the fiery. Teams of two or more people are invited to register in advance and have their chili scored by local expert judges. Categories for judging include Hot Traditional Chili, Best White Chili, and Most Creative. A prize is awarded for 1st and 2nd place in each category for the Judges’ Choice, determined by a panel of distinguished judges, and The People’s Choice Award, which is decided by the general public who pay $5.00 to attend the event and taste all the chilis.
In addition to tasty chili, the event will feature Puttin’ on the Ritz Pet Parade to be held at the bandstand in the Waterfront Park. Each contestant will win a paw print medallion, with the grand prize winners taking home trophies and pet supplies. Last year, over 80 pets paraded across the stage.
The Great Camden County Chili Cook Off and Pet Parade will feature live music by Marshall Rowland & the Hit Kickers, a country and blue grass band.
The award-winning, internationally televised Fernandina Pirates are a lively and active presence in coastal Florida. Founded in 1973, the club’s primary focus is promoting the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. The Pirates are also extremely active in community events and offer an annual scholarship contest for Nassau County high school seniors.
The Humane Society of Camden County, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that has been in existence since 1986 serving the needs of homeless and abandoned animals in the area.
Founded in 1997, Habitat for Humanity of Camden County is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in Camden County and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action.
W.H. Gross Construction is the organizer of the Great Camden County Chili Cook Off has been building fine custom homes in the St. Marys/Kingsland Georgia area for over 20 years. In 2004, Gross Construction, in partnership with Stover Construction, had the honor of being the HGTV Dream Home builder in the coastal community of Cumberland Harbour in historic St. Marys.