South Charlotte

Chow down on chili next weekend

The crisp morning air conjures memories of autumn. You use the fireplace for the first time, light that jack-o'-lantern, dispense candy on Halloween, and then it's Nov. 1. In some cultures it's All Saints Day. In Mexico, it's the Day of the Dead. Here in southwestern Union County, it's Chili Cook-off Day.

And whether you like to cook the dish or just eat it, Saturday offers chili lovers at least two tempting options.

At Fox Family Farm in Waxhaw, the second annual Union County Habitat for Humanity Chili Cook Off begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Contestants will prepare their chili in hopes of winning “Best Chili” and/or “People's Choice,” awards. Entertainment, raffles, an auction and helicopter rides round out the event.

As a public service, I advise the helicopter ride/chili sequence. It's a much safer bet. Admission is free. You can buy a chili sampling kit, raffle tickets or just make a donation. Proceeds will benefit Union County Habitat for Humanity's Construction Program. For more information, call 704-296-9414.

A few miles to the north, the third annual “Munching in Marvin” chili cook-off, bake-off and food festival will be 2-5 p.m. at Sandy Ridge Elementary. The Village of Marvin points out that this is a community event and not a fundraiser. Food fanciers who have not bought tickets in advance will pay $10 for adults and $5 for children to get in. They can sample chili, baked goods and samples of food from several local restaurants and vendors. Participants are eligible for door prizes and cooks compete for prizes. For more information, go to, or call 704-843-1680.

Now here's a plan. Arise early on Nov. 1. Walk several miles. Skip breakfast. Arrive at Fox farm at 11 a.m. Ride in the helicopter, savor the foliage, then the chili. Leave at 1:45 p.m. Belch if you must. For that matter, have a family belching chorus. (Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is always a fun burp-along).

Arrive at Sandy Ridge Elementary at 2:05 p.m. (Take the back way down Waxhaw-Marvin to avoid the construction). Go straight for the chili, baked goods and samples. Ramble home at 5, and on the way, say to yourself: “This is a great place to live!”

Sweet dreams. Don't forget the antacids.

Rx for a happy pooch

It always delights me to see someone take the initiative to make everyone's day a little brighter. CVS pharmacist Debbie Ginsburg decided to keep a box of dog biscuits by the pickup window at the new CVS pharmacy at New Town and Providence roads. Drive-through customers with canine companions get not only their prescriptions, but a treat for their furry friends as well. My Bernese mountain dog, Delilah, now loves car rides to the pharmacy. Debbie also told me that the branch has already raised $600 in pledges to support CVS employees who will walk for Easter Seals at Freedom Park on Nov. 8. It's not too late to sponsor a walker yourself.