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Harlem Hustle adds new element to line-up

Posted: November 8, 2017 - 3:17am

HARLEM - Those who love mouth-watering chili and activities for the entire family are in for a treat as the city of Harlem is gearing up for its fifth annual Harlem Hustle and Chili Cook-off.

The annual cook-a-thon - along with the other festivities - is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Laurel & Hardy Museum.

Harlem community events manager Stacie Hart said the main purpose of the event is to attract and captivate more community residents for a day of fellowship.

"We want to have fun and get people out in the community," Hart said. "We are in collaboration with the Harlem Hustle and this year we added the storybook walk for everybody in the family, from the kids to the parents."

The Harlem Hustle includes a 1-mile, 5- and 10- kilometer runs. While the Harlem Hustle is an annual event, Hart - in collaboration with the Harlem Merchant's Association - agreed for the first time to add a storybook walk.

The book of choice for the storybook walk is Click, Clack, Moo. Along with the theme, Chick-fil-A cows will be at the event, along with several businesses presenting two pages from Click, Clack Moo. Characters from the book will also be present as participants walk from business to business amid the storybook walk. When the walk wraps up, local enthusiasts will be able to have a picnic in the park.

Just momements later, Hart said participants will be able to enjoy some homemade chili. The chili contest comprises the Best Dressed Table, the People's Choice and the Judge's Choice awards.

There are rules for the chili contest, just as there were in the past. Hart said chili participants are not to make their chili at home. Bringing raw ingredients is a must, though these ingredients can be canned tomatoes or greens, as well as spices in a jar.

Still, those who anticipate competing in the tournament must bring their own cooker and table.

Kari Poss is all too familiar with the cook-off, as she won the Judge's Choice award in 2016.

"It made me feel great that somebody appreciated my food because you have to make it right there," Poss said. "You can't pre-prep it; you have to bring everything with you right then."

Poss said what put her over the top was she included 10 dry spices to the meat as she grounded it. To her benefit, she said the chili results in having a kick to it.

This year, however, Poss said she will do things marginally different. Some additional elements will be pecan bread muffins from Canada and some homemade maple butter.

Poss, who is the Teen Court Director and the Youth Court Director for Columbia County Community Connections, echoed some of the same sentiments Hart said as to why she is participating in this event.

"I like bringing more people out to Harlem," Poss said. "I like to get our youth involved in any positive youth development programs that we can."

Folks can simply show up for the storybook walk. To register for the chili cook-off or the annual walk, email Hart at Shart@Harlemga.org. Entrants, though, may register for the cook-off at 7 a.m. Saturday.

 

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING HARLEM EVENTS

Festival of Trees and Holiday Market

When: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 2

What: Different businesses and church organizations put up Christmas trees; then the trees light up at the same time. Other elements include snow-blowing, a school chorus and a church chorus.

Those who want to be a part of these festivities or want more information can email Hart at Shart@Harlemga.org.

 

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