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Tickets are still available for the Winterfest Beer Garden and the Rotary Chilly Chili Challenge

Photo courtesy of Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce

By Kris Testori

BLOWING ROCK, NC – WinterFest’s motto is “Don’t Hibernate, Celebrate!” and that’s precisely what you’ll be doing at the WinterFest Beer Garden and the Rotary Chilly Chili Challenge. Both events are located in the Meadowbrook Inn this year, directly following the Polar Bear Plunge. “It worked out perfectly to marry the two events together in the same location,” said Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce membership engagement director Cathy Barker. “This was perfect as they remain two distinct events, but guests can enjoy both. We chose this location as it is within walking distance to all of the WinterFest activities, and it’s indoors if unforeseen weather conditions occur.” 

Photo courtesy of Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce

Sister-in-laws Erica and Emily Brinker, co-owners of The Speckled Trout, sponsor the Beer Garden. “We sponsor WinterFest’s Beer Garden because we love beer,” Emily Brinker said. “We also enjoy the camaraderie and storytelling that comes along with sharing a pint with friends, neighbors, and visitors. It’s about encouraging people to be a part of something bigger than themselves and coming together as a community.” Speckled Trout merchandise will be for sale at the event. 

Four local breweries, Appalachian Mountain Brewery,  Booneshine Brewing,  Lost Province Brewing, and the Blowing Rock Ale House, are participating in this annual event with their best winter brews.  The Speckled Trout Bottle Company and many other North Carolina Breweries will also offer their unique selections.   Participants will receive tasting tickets and a special WinterFest 2023 tasting Glass. Tickets are on sale now for the event being held Saturday, January 28th, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Rotary Chilly Chili Challenge is sponsored by The Spice & Tea Exchange. “We’re all about food and helping everyone find their inner chef,” said owner Andy Barth. “As such, we are once again proud to sponsor the Rotary Chilly Chili Challenge for the 2023 WinterFest and help support the worthy causes of the Rotary Club.  To help keep things spicy, we will be offering participants a free package of our Matanzas Chili Spice Blend for you to make a gallon of your own delicious chili.” 

The Spice & Tea Exchanges White Mountain Chicken Chili

The Rotary Chilly Chili Challenge showcases the best chili recipes from local restaurants. Each participating restaurant is paired with the local nonprofit of their choice and raises money for that non-profit through a donation jar voting system.  The “People’s Choice Award” goes to the restaurant that raises the most money for its non-profit partner.  The “Judges Pick” will be awarded to the restaurant by a secret tasting panel of celebrity judges. Tickets are $8.00 per person. You can purchase online now or buy tickets at the door.  The event is being held on Saturday, January 28th, from 11a.m-2 p.m.

For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, go to https://blowingrockwinterfest.com/ Tickets, and more information are available by calling (828) 295-7851.