February 25, 2016

City gears up for Chill-A-Bration fun

CHILLBob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland Beer Company bartender Jen Foster makes a chalkboard message promoting Saturday’s ninth annual Chill-A-Bration festivities. Twenty-five downtown Cortland businesses will feature chili samples and drink specials for the event, which will run from noon to 4 p.m.

Staff Reporter

Warm chili and cold beer are on this Saturday’s Chill-A-Bration menu.
The ninth annual event features chili sampling and drink specials at 25 businesses and restaurants in downtown Cortland.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature for Saturday is expected to be in the 30s with partly sunny skies — desirable walking weather for strolling down Main Street voting for the best area chili and favorite winter flavor.
The event is from noon to 4 p.m. and is expected to bring more than 600 people to downtown Cortland, said event coordinator Jane Witty of the Cortland Downtown Partnership.
Last year’s “Cortland Area’s Favorite Chili” winner, The Community Restaurant, is among the contestants. Last year, the restaurant beat long-standing winner, The Deli Downtown. The Community Restaurant won with its bourbon steak chili with corn bread.
Five new businesses have signed on this year: Cortland Flower Shop, Jumpin’ Jax House of Wings, Bru 64, The 1890 House museum and Rili Bubble Tea.
Jason Lilley, owner of The Cortland Flower shop, said he is excited to join in the fun at this year’s festival. The florist, partnering with Cortland Picture Frame Co., will offer raffles along with Lilley’s old-fashioned chili.
“We’re not in the food business so we’ve always felt like we couldn’t be involved, but we are open on Saturdays, and after speaking with Ms. Witty, we decided, heck yeah. Why not, let’s try it,” Lilley said this morning.
Bru 64 will feature its signature chicken wing dip.
“We are really excited to be joining this year. We have no idea what to expect but we are excited for people to come check out the space we’ve created here,” manager Kelly Gregory said Wednesday.
The owner of Jumpin’ Jax House of Wings, Jackie Langendoerfer, is also glad to join in this year’s festival.
The restaurant opened last February and is ready to showcase its sweet chili sauce on top of boneless chicken wings during this year’s Chill-A-Bration.
Black Chill-A-Bration mugs are on sale through Saturday at The Local Food Market on North Main Street and Cortland Beer Co. on Court Street. Special are available at Saturday’s event for mug holders.

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