AUGUSTA — The Chili Chowder Challenge held at the Augusta State Armory on March 23 raised about $35,000 for the Children’s Center.

This year’s winners were:

* Best Chowder: The Red Barn, “Laura’s Famous Seafood Stew”

* Best Chili: The Liberal Cup, “Smokin’ Pig” Chili

* Hottest Chili: The Liberal Cup, “Level 7 Nuclear Meltdown”

* Most Original Chowder: Maple Hill Farm Inn “Simply Gone WILD! Blueberry Chowder”

* Most Original Chili: The Liberal Cup, “Smokin’ Pig Chili”

* Most Creative Display: The Liberal Cup

* Most Creative Name: The Liberal Cup’s “Level 7 Nuclear Meltdown”

The event included children’s activities such as a story time provided by Lithgow Library and parachute play time given by the Children’s Center staff. The Walmart Heart Team passed out coloring books and crayons.

Lorraine and Norm Poulliot served hotdogs, chips, drinks and ice cream.

Music was provided by Sam Shain, his father, Brett Shain and his brother, Josh Shain, along with bass player David Thibodeau. Auctions featured items donated by local businesses, organizations and individuals. Humorist Gary Crocker entertained during the auction and Herb Bunker served as master of ceremonies. Children’s Center staff performed a flash mob dance.

Participating restaurants were: Al’s Pizza, Capitol Grill, The Liberal Cup, Lisa’s Restaurant & Lounge and Red Robin, all entered chilis; Augusta House of Pancakes, Cohen on the Meadows, Damon’s, Ground Round Sports Grille and Senator Inn, all entered chili and chowder; Club Calumet, Hi-Hat Pancake House, Red Barn, Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center and Wings Hill Inn, all entered chowders.

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