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Bands ‘N Beans party rocks Roaring Brook

Hundreds of people — from their 20s to their 70s — cram the dance floor and gyrate to the hard rock sounds of the band Groove Therapy during the Bands 'N Beans party held Sunday at Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George. The annual event, the largest gathering of its kind in the region, attracted more than 1,000 people to hear eight bands on two stages as well as sample 35 different varieties of chili offered by area restaurants.

Hundreds of people — from their 20s to their 70s — cram the dance floor and gyrate to the hard rock sounds of the band Groove Therapy during the Bands 'N Beans party held Sunday at Roaring Brook Ranch in Lake George. The annual event, the largest gathering of its kind in the region, attracted more than 1,000 people to hear eight bands on two stages as well as sample 35 different varieties of chili offered by area restaurants. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Nursing their bottles of beer, Bryan Rounds and Mike Lawler of Warrensburg stood and watched hundreds of people crammed into a dance floor at Roaring Brook Ranch gyrate to the music of the rock band Groove Therapy.

“This is an adult theme party,” Rounds quipped. “This is the biggest thing that happens around here all year long.”

“It’s a mellow crowd — no fights like in the bars,” Lawler replied.

“Nothing’s better than this,” Rounds continued. “Hot chili and short skirts.”

About 1,000 people attended Sunday’s Bands ‘N Beans party — a fundraiser for the Lake George Arts Project that combines a chili cook-off with five hours of continuous music from eight bands on two stages.

Approaching Rounds and Lawler from behind, Connie Maxam and Joanna Lent of Frederick’s Restaurant threw their arms around the two men, drawing them into a group hug.

“We won! We won second place!” Maxam said of their chili concoction. “And it’s our first year!”

Frederick’s chili was an unusual creation among the 35 presented at the party, as it was layered — varied flavors at different depths, Lent said.

“It’s a recipe your mom would cook,” she said in a tone of modesty.

Dishing out “Wazzu Fusion Chili” beside Maxam and Lent in the lineup of 35 featured restaurants were Michael Cirelli and Felipe DeJesus of Giovanna’s Restaurant of the Georgian Resort in Lake George.

Their version of chili, which featured rare meats, earned first place in the votes cast by attendees. It included smoked buffalo meat, and wild boar sausage, and had a topping of shredded cheddar imported from Ireland.

Down the lineup of tables,Brett Lang was dishing up two versions of chili for the two restaurants he co-owns: green chili for Pablo’s Burrito Cantina and classic red chili for Christie’s of the Lake, both of Lake George.

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