This year’s Southwest Airlines Chili Cook-off was one for the record books. More than 4,700 Southwest Employees, families, and friends attended the 37th and Last Chili Cook-off* at Sandy Lake Park in Carrollton, Texas. FUN was in the air as soon you entered the grounds. The kiddos headed straight for the amusement park or miniature golf, the adults made a beeline to the beer tent, and everyone tried their luck at BINGO to win fabulous travel passes … oh ya, and there was a lot of chili, too.
In fact, there were 29 competitors this year. Plenty of chili had what I like to call the “decongestant factor,” or chili-so-hot-your-sinuses-will-clear-up. Communications (including our Emerging Media Team) went so far as to call their entry “Hangover Chili,” chili so good you won’t remember it the next day.
At a Southwest Airlines Chili cook-off, the Showmanship competition is equally as heated. This year’s competitors did not disappoint. The elaborate decorations and zany skits gave our judges plenty of laughs and left them with the seemingly impossible task of determining the team with Best Showmanship.
While the judges debated Best Chili and Best Showmanship, some talented Employees entertained the crowd in the annual Talent Show. We had all singers this year. It felt like American Idol came to Carrollton - minus the catty Cowell. Thank you for sharing your incredible talent with us!
*Each Cook-off is named the "__th and Last" as a tribute to the first Cook-off. Back then, there was serious doubt whether Southwest would still be in business to host another Cook-off, so it was named the "First and Last Chili Cook-off."