The Smith Mountain Lake Fall Chili and Craft Festival draw thousands of people every year.
The event is in its 11th year. A little music and a lot of chili have thousands waiting to taste some spicy goodness, hours in the making.
“We start early in the morning and we start cooking. We started at 9 this morning,” said participant Lori Dillon.
The Smith Mountain Lake Powerboating Association is defending their title this year for best chili.
Proceeds from ticket sales help to fund the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Center
“We have chili of all kinds; we have vegetarian, we have every kind of chili you can imagine and just a ton of craft vendors,” said SML Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Vicki Gardner.
Some secret ingredients used by different participants were ground turkey, a mixture of venison and pork and a blend of spices. Some visitors have different requirements for taste if you want their vote.
“I'm looking for a rich meat and pepper flavor combined; it just got be mellow with a nice back bite,” said taster George Witzke.
“I want something that really tastes homemade and not like you bought it and added to it; got to have spice. It's got to have flavor to it,” said taster Sheila Levinson.