10-08-14-hope-mills-celebrates.gifEvery year, the city of Hope Mills hosts a huge festival dedicated to celebrating the history of the town as well as providing an incredible day of family fun for the community, and this year Ole Mills day will be bigger than ever. Mark your calendar, it is set for Oct. 18.

The festival will take place in the beautiful surroundings of the Hope Mills Municipal Park. As always, there will be a plethora of food and vendors for attendees to enjoy. Don’t miss the hot wing contest for those brave of heart and strong of stomach. Live entertainment is planned throughout the day, too. Children can enjoy the games, inflatables and rides of all kinds. There is also a tractor pull, a cheerleading exhibition and a mill workers reunion.

Don’t miss the corn hole tournament— it is a local favorite and always a lot of fun. To get into the Halloween spirit in the brisk fall weather, be sure to check out the costume contest and haunted house sponsored by the South View High School Key Club.

Another annual and highly anticipated event at the Ole Mills Day festival is the Chili Cook-Off. All local chefs are breaking out their incredible chili recipes and are prepping to compete in the annual competition. The very first chili cook off began with just three pots of chili. Since then, the competition has grown into one of the favorite events at the festival.

“We expect to have 25 entrants and that is a combination of hot and mild chili,” said Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dee Callahan.

Each single bowl of chili costs $4. Or sample them all for just $5. All proceeds from the cook off go to the Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce. This is its only annual fundraiser, and it is cosponsored by WKML 95.7.

There are two categories of chili: hot and mild. Each competitor is required to bring at least a two-quart pot of chili. At the end of judging at 3:30 p.m., four awards will be given out.

“The awards for the Chili Cook-Off are the silver spoon, plastic spoon, the wooden spoon and bragging rights. They are large plaques and they actually have the different spoons on them. It’s all in good fun,” Callahan says, “There’s also the People’s Choice Award. People can buy a bowl of chili or get a sample. Then they have the ability to vote on which chili is their favorite. The Peoples Choice Award also comes with a plaque and $100.”

Up and Coming Weekly, WKML 95.7 and The Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce will host the Cornhole Tourney. Registration is $20 for a team of two. Cash prizes include $100 for first place, $50 for 2nd place and $25 for 3rd place. The official rules are at www.playcornhole.org/rules.shtml. Registration must be submitted before Oct 18.

For more information on the Chili Cook-Off or to register for the corn hole tournament or chili cook off, please visit www.hopemillschamber.org or call 423-4314. For more information on Ole Mill Day visit http://nc-hopemills.civicplus.com or call 424-4500. The festival is Oct. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Hope Mills Municipal Park at 5776 Rockfish Road in Hope Mills.

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