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Middlebury Winter Carnival, Chil Fest, Feb. 27

MIDDLEBURY - The Better Middlebury Partnership announced the Secnd Annual Middlebury Winter Carnival and Chili Contest, taking place on Saturday, Feb. 27. Named one of the Top 10 Winter Events of 2010 by The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the event includes sled dog demonstrations, snowshoe races, live music and award-winning chili on the streets of historic downtown Middlebury.

Over 1,000 visitors attended last year's carnival and even more are expected to turn out this year for the headlining event: a pro/am chili contest, taking place on the sidewalks of Main Street and Merchants Row from 2-4 p.m.

The downtown will be overflowing with chili from over 40 restaurants, caterers and amateurs from around the state. The public picks professional and amateur winners in eight categories - including Best Beef Chili, Best Chicken Chili, Best Veggie Chili, a best 'Kitchen Sink' category, and Best Overall Chili.

This year's chili contest winners will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. Last year's professional winners included American Flatbread, Tully and Marie's, the Grapevine Grille, Costello's Market and Zest Catering. The Middlebury Fire Department dominated the 2009 amateur results, and will be back to defend their titles this year.

Passes for unlimited samples of chili will be available at the event for $1 kids (under 12) / $2 adults, or in advance at The Alpine Shop, American Flatbread, Forth n' Goal, Green Peppers, Rosie's Restaurant, Sweet Cecily and Two Brothers Tavern.

Middlebury Winter Carnival & Chili Contest t-shirts will be on sale at the event for $12, and are available in advance for $10 at the Alpine Shop, Forth n' Goal and Sweet Cecily in Middlebury.

Water will be available at the event for $1/bottle. All proceeds go to finance Better Middlebury Partnership events, such as The Middlebury Winter Carnival and Chili Contest, the Middlebury Spooktacular and A Very Merry Middlebury.

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