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Letters: Thanks from The Old Theater
Chili Cookoff Success
October 23, 2023

aturday’s annual Chili Cookoff Fundraiser brought in a record number of guests. Old Theater Vice President Mary Taylor writes in with thanks.
The wind was fierce but so was the competition for Grand Chili Champ at the 15th Annual Chili Cookoff on October 21st to benefit The Old Theater. Chef Britni Arnold of Triton Yachts won the title for the second consecutive year with her “Boaters’ Favorite Chili.” There were other big winners this year including The Old Theater which had a record-breaking attendance of 433 tasters, beating last year’s 325. Thank you, Oriental!

Judges’ Award:
1st Place – Triton Yachts, Chef Britni Arnold
2nd Place – Oriental Deli & Subs, Chef Tim Jalbert
3rd Place Tie – Toucan Grill & Fresh Bar, Grill Chef & South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Dept, Chef John Kaplan

People’s Choice:
1st Place – Marine Corps League Oriental Dragon Detachment, Chef Mark Fox
2nd Place – Oriental Deli & Subs, Chef Tim Jalbert
3rd Place Tie – South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Dept, Chef John Kaplan & Oriental First Baptist Church, Chefs Theresa Caroon & Traci Nolin

Spirit Award:
1st Place – Maverick’s Amma’s Chili, Chefs Joyce & Bill Sharp
2nd Place – Oriental First Baptist Church, Chefs Theresa Caroon & Traci Nolin
3rd Place – Marine Corps League Oriental Dragon Detachment, Chef Mark Fox

Dr. Sherri Hicks, Oriental Village Veterinary Hospital
Brantley Norman, Jr., Brantley’s Village Restaurant
Lynelle Brewington, Southern Sky Lodge
Donnie Cox, Chief Meteorologist News Channel 12 New Bern

The Old Theater would like to thank the community as a whole and specifically Tom McIlhenny of the Oriental Marina & Inn for hosting the Chili Cookoff, the Rotary Club for supplying tables and chairs, and the sponsors and donors who continue to show their support for our local theater: Beth Frazer Real Estate & Rentals, Pamlico Democratic Party, Oriental Village Veterinary Hospital, Southern Sky Lodge, Village Mini Storage, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, Sailors’ Haven Vacation Rental, Marsha’s Cottage, Studio 55 Hair & Nails, Mariner Realty, and Piggly Wiggly.

The real heroes of the day were the 20+ volunteers who made it all happen, beginning with the MC, Lance Corporal SyNirah Johnson, and includes DJ, Cheryl Thompson; ballot counters Stan & Ellen Aeschleman; Judge’s Asst Marguerite Garrett; electrician Earl Canfield; photographer Mary Maxwell; ticket sellers Linda Larson, Russ Stevenson, MJ Sheppard, and Christine Wager; raffle tickets, Ari Sylvester; bake sale table, Teresa & Ron Geer and Betsie Elwood; takeout orders, Katie Shorter; water table, Kay Hough; floater Brian Hough, and for setting up and taking down, Pat Nocera and Kim Schroader. A loud shout for all the bakers in Oriental and in Pamlico County who donated baked goods for the Bake Sale which was a tremendous success. Thank you All!

The leaders of this year’s Chili Cookoff, Carla Fisher and Mary Taylor, wish to recognize a group of people who know the value of teamwork, who depend on each other to get the job done, and who genuinely care about The Old Theater, the members of the Old Theater Board of Directors who worked at the Chili Cookoff this year: Linda Larson, MJ Sheppard, Ari Sylvester, and Pat Nocera.

The Old Theater is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that provides the people of Oriental and Pamlico County with a venue for cultural and civic events. The Membership Drive is underway, and you can become a member by calling 252-249-0477. The Chili Cookoff is the theater’s annual fundraiser and is held on the third Saturday in October. Hope to see you back at the Marina next year for another Chili Cookoff and at The Old Theater for exciting Coming Events.

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