With generators humming and campsites in full swing, the 47th Annual Chili Cook Off took over Terlingua with thousands of locals and visitors coming together in the name of chili and freedom.
Not only were tastebuds torn between the best chili, people had to follow their gut to the spiciest party, or not, depending on their taste.
Families, and those with a tamer sensibility, filled The Frank Tolbert / Wick Fowler Chili Cook Off to enjoy a great lineup of music and food. With country cookin’ sizzling in old cast iron skillets, the Cowboy Camp offered their traditional feast blessed by prayer, alongside tequila tasting and story telling around the campfire.
The Casi Chili Cook Off campsite at Rancho CASI de los Chisos, affectionately coined “redneck mardi gras,” rolled on the wilder side. From dusk till dawn, trucks and trailers, tricked out with bling, rolled through the camp converging at “Krazy Flats,” the community party station.
Floating between the two, we realized what separates them is minimal compared to what binds them: friendship, generosity and the love of chili.
Jessica Lutz is a citizen reporter for KRTS, Marfa Public Radio.