Updated: Lexington County Chili Cook-Off crowd basks in sun and music

Attendance double from last year, according to organizers


Bowls of Fury was winner of the The 2nd Annual Lexington County Chili Cookoff and Music Fest Sunday at Lexington’s downtown IceHouse Amphitheater. Bowls of Fury won both the judges first place and the Peoples Choice Award. Photo contributed.)

The wind was brisk, but the sun was shining and the chili was hot.

Droves of people turned out for the 2nd Annual Lexington County Chili Cook-Off and Music Fest on Sunday at Lexington’s new downtown IceHouse Amphitheater at the corner of Main and Church streets.

“There are over 1,000 people here,” said Bill Shanahan, owner and general manager of the the Lexington County Blowfish, the event co-sponsor along with the Town of Lexington and the Old Mill Brew Pub. “It’s a wonderful venue.”

Shanahan said the attendance Sunday more than doubled the attendance for 2016.

Lexington Town Council member Kathy Maness described the event as “awesome.”

“It’s exciting to see so many people in downtown Lexington,” said Maness. “It’s great weather, great music, and a pleasant surprise.”

She also said there are more events coming to the amphitheater.


Thelma Holiday of L and D Chili Masters prepares another serving. (Photos by Terry Ward)

Many in the crowd enjoyed music assembled by Freeway Music, a music-instruction school based at the Old Mill complex on East Main Street. Bands included Hideout, Nuff Said, Stampede,The Silver Bullets, Strings Attached, Live Action, MC3, The Dry Sockets, RB 100, and Shark Bait. Others sampled chili from one of the dozen or so chili cooks on site.

Todd O’Dell and Bill Waters of Lowcountry Billing Services in Lexington had a steady stream to feed.

The chili cook off opened at noon and lasted until 5 p.m. The community event was put together to assist Lexington County First Responders in need. Proceeds benefit members of Lexington County Public Safety. Organizers said a donation will also be made to the Lexington Police Department’s Adopt-A-Cop program.