GATLINBURG (press release)—The 25th Annual Winter Magic Kickoff & Chili Cookoff is on the downtown Parkway from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12. The event features the ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights that make Gatlinburg a winter wonderland. There are animated displays throughout the city and the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, some as much as 40 feet tall.
The Chili Cook Off features teams from local businesses, service organizations and restaurants vying to win trophies for cooking up the best batch of chili. While the street event is free, tickets for unlimited chili tasting are $10. There is also a hot chili eating contest and live music featuring Emi Sunshine and Sonia Leigh who will perform on the Bush Brother’s Stage. Sonia is a rising star in the Nashville music scene with her female-attitude, modern country sound.
Emi Sunshine is a talented musician who plays ukulele, banjolele and mandolin while continuing to strengthen her vocal range. Her band consists of her father, Randall, on bass guitar, her uncle Bobby on drums and percussion, and her older brother John on mandolin, plus an ever-changing cast of fellow friends and musicians. Randall graduated from MTSU with a degree in recording engineering and currently does sound for several east Tennessee venues as well as owns and operates Hamilton Sound & Recording. Bobby has played drums professionally for over 15 years traveling with several different bands. He organized and founded a music ministry in Charlotte, NC for several years. As a senior in high school John won a Grammy as a member of the Hiwassee Dam Steel Pan Band. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and a true artist himself, who relishes the role of big brother.
Sonia Leigh has exploded onto the Nashville scene with her newest smash single, “Put It In Your Pocket” which debut on Sirius XM Radio, 59, The Highway on July 1, 2014. Leigh relocated to Nashville October 2012 from her longtime home of Atlanta, Ga. and quickly began captivating Nashville audiences with her own special brand of female-attitude modern country. Her newest single drives you into the very heart of summer time fun, friends and living life in the moment.
Those attending are encouraged to vote for their favorite chili. These votes will be tallied to award the coveted People’s Choice Awards to the most popular chili. A panel of judges will cast their votes for other awards, including: Best Presentation, Best Chili Apron and Best Chili.
Excitement will really heat up with the popular hot-chili eating contest during the event. Contestants will consume chili with increasing levels of heat as the competition progresses.