CARTHAGE, Mo. — Things were heating up this morning in Carthage.

It’s the 5th Annual “Maple Leaf Chili Cook Off” sponsored by “Carthage Water and Electric Plant”.

Hundreds gathered in Central Park to put their taste buds to the test.

10 chefs presented 10 different chilis, all ranging from mild to spicy.

The event cost $5 to judge the chilis. Winners of the best chili by either judges’ choice or the people’s choice received a cast iron skillet, while the grand prize was a cast iron Dutch oven.

“We’re very excited, and Carthage Water and Electric has been serving the Carthage community for 125 years this year, so this is just a little icing on the cake. We’re having a lot of fun and celebrating with the community, which we love to do,” said Meagan Milliken, Event Organizer.

All the money raised from this year’s chili cook-off goes to the Carthage VFW.