In the hours leading up to Super Bowl 38, some people were thinking hot Harleys and an at least reasonably hot bowl of chili, something to bring people out after a week when many of them probably stayed inside.
"We're getting some people in, and we have more vendors this year than last year," said organizer Gary Williams. "We have a good representation of restaurants, businesses, and individuals, so we are very pleased."
Chili, both hot and mild was available through a variety of vendors. At least one left it up to the customer how much "bite" should be in their bowls.
"It's sorta medium, but I have extra things you can add to make it hotter or regular," said vendor Helen Naab. "I didn't use onions, because I was too tired to chop them. Onions make you cry."
News personalities, including the weekend "today show's" Lester Holt, actually have sampled the local cuisine. Cliff Schultheis got Holt to pose for a photograph with Schultheis' salsa last July, when Holt was in Elizabeth to cover Jessica Lynch's homecoming.
"You need to try some of the chili, and our salsa," says Schutheis, who, along with his son, markets the product at local stores. "They're made in Wingett Run, only 20 miles from Marietta."
So while the warm up for the super bowl was in full swing, folks warmed up with something spicy, meaty and cheesy. The cook-off helped to raise funds for the annual "riverboat roar", held each year during the July fourth weekend.