The Town of Cutler Bay celebrated its seventh annual Chili Day on Saturday, Jan. 9, adding a special new event to the popular yearly gathering — a Golf Cart Rodeo.
An estimated 4,500 people attended the event at Cutler Ridge Park, with 21 chefs ranging from amateur to master chef, who competed for trophies in five categories: Salsa, Cornbread, Chili, People’s Choice for best Chili and Best Decorated Booth. People from all over Miami-Dade County turned out to enjoy the weather and sample the chili, cornbread and salsa.
The competition’s winners were as follows:
Cornbread: T&W Barbecue
Salsa: Just Chillin’
Chili: T&W Barbecue
Chili Fire Department: Miami Dade Fire Rescue (Station 34)
People’s Choice: Hialeah Fire Department
Best Decorated Booth: Cutler Ricken’ Cornbread
The town’s first Cutler Bay Golf Cart Rodeo, also at Cutler Ridge Park during the Chili Day event, featured a total of 15 carts competing in the obstacle course which included tasks such as a three-point turn, driving through a tight lane without hitting balls, and swerving in and around cones. Marilyn Horne, local public school teacher and town resident, was the overall winner of the golf cart rodeo obstacle course.
“I would like to thank the staff, community, volunteers and sponsors of the Golf Cart Rodeo for providing such a fun and exciting event at the chili cookoff,” said Horne.
Carts also competed in Best Themed Cart and Driver, Best Customized Cart and Most Unusual Cart. First, second and third place awards were handed out to the top finishers of each category.
The first place trophy for the “Most Unusual Cart” was awarded to Robert Baer. First place for “Best Customized Cart” went to Angel Susini and the winner for “Best Themed Cart and Driver” was Christopher Glassmer.
Mayor Peggy Bell was in attendance and was very pleased with the turnout.
“The event drew the largest crowd ever, with the addition of our golf cart contest, along with great music from local band Cutler Stew, and a bounce house,” Mayor Bell said. “Town manager Rafael Casals, parks director Fred Bobson and staff really outdid themselves this year. Councilwoman Loyzelle created a golf cart obstacle course that was quite challenging.” Bell said the golf cart event was added this year to highlight the new law allowing for golf carts on all streets within the town, with the exception of US1 and the turnpike.
“We were able to get this law passed by the state recently with the help of our state representatives, State Sen. Bullard, Reps. Fresen and McGhee, and our lobbying team. We also registered many carts, gave out information on insurance and most importantly, safety features and laws pertaining to golf cart use. The chili, salsa and cornbread were all outstanding. It was such a great time for all.”
The event sponsors were Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay, AARP, Southern Golf Cars and Cutler Bay Carts. There were volunteers from Cutler Bay High School, AARP and the Miami-Dade Police Explorers.
Councilmember Sue Loyzelle said she was happy about the successful addition to the Chili Day event.
“It was so exciting and so much fun,” Loyzelle said. “We really appreciate all our volunteers. It was a fun way to have an event to teach people about the safety rules for golf carts.”
For information on upcoming events visit www.cutlerbay-fl.gov or call 305-234-4262.