Winter Lights' Mac & Chili Challenge moves to St. Patrick's

Dancing and skating, beer tasting and noshing, are all part of the fun this year


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  • Thanks for the memories: Guests being served at a past mac 'n cheese contest at the Dimmick Inn (Photo by George Leroy Hunter)




  • Skaters of the Frozen Feet Theater perform at Ann Street Park during a previous Winter Lights Festival. Although there is no ice show this year, visitors can put on their own show with family and friends. Loaner skates will be available for free in the heated shed next to the rink. (Photo by George Leroy Hunter)



"Outgrowing our location at the Dimmick Inn enabled us to think outside the box for one of the area's favorite food fundraisers — and a new and better way to continue the fun, joy, and excitement of selecting and recognizing all the home and professional chefs in Pike and the surrounding counties was born."
Winter Lights organizers


— For more than seven years, the public has sampled tasty mac 'n cheese and, more recently, chili dishes entered by local residents and chefs at the annual Winter Lights fundraiser in Milford.

This year, the contest is moving from its former venue, the Dimmick Inn, to St. Patrick's Church at 111 High St. in Milford. The contest, now officially the Mac & Chili Challenge, will be held at the church from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19.

"Outgrowing our location at the Dimmick Inn enabled us to think outside the box for one of the area's favorite food fundraisers — and a new and better way to continue the fun, joy, and excitement of selecting and recognizing all the home and professional chefs in Pike and the surrounding counties was born," the organizers say.

Guests will have a chance to sample dozens of delectable mac 'n cheese and chili recipes for a $5 donation per person. Kids younger than five eat for free. Proceeds will benefit the Milford Borough Recreation Committee and Ann Street Park's ice-skating rink.

After you've had your fill, you'll have a chance to vote for your favorite dishes.

This year includes a beer tasting, with offerings from local breweries — including Log Tavern Brewery, Shawnee Craft Brewery, Here and Now Brewery, and Wallenpaupack Brewery — complementing the hearty contest entries. There is an additional cost for the beer tasting.

There's plenty of space and seating in Saint Patrick's Hall for dancing. A DJ will spin everyone's favorite tunes.

It's time to skateIf Mother Nature cooperates, the ice rink in Ann Street Park will be open for free public skating following the Mac & Chili Challenge. The rink is a short walk from Saint Patrick's Hall, so bundle up and get ready for a night of ice skating. Dozens of ice skates are available in the heated shed next to the rink and may be borrowed for free.

Join the ChallengeIf you're interested in entering a mac 'n cheese or chili recipe, call Bailey Design & Advertising at 570-251-1512 during business hours or email baileyd@ptd.net. Your name, address, email, and phone number are required for entry. Entries will be taken until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18.

The first 20 home or professional chefs to sign up for the Challenge will receive $25 at the event to help cover ingredient costs!. Each participant must supply four pounds of mac 'n cheese or three pounds of chili.

No ice show this yearThere will not be an ice show this year. The show was cancelled in 2017 and 2018 because the weather was too warm.

Predicting and ensuring adequate ice conditions for the show became increasingly difficult across the past several years, often resulting in last-minute show cancellations, say the organizers.

"We're extremely grateful for past ice performances brought to our town by Mike Carson and Frozen Feet Theater," they say. "Milford will never forget the artistry and creative vision that graced Ann Street Park's frozen canvas-stage. Thank you!

"We look forward to greeting one and all at our new location. A very special thank you to Andrew Jorgensen and the entire Dimmick Inn friendly staff who over the years has helped Winter Lights Festival offer its Mac and Chili Contest to the public. In many large and small ways, literally through snow, rain, and sleet the Dimmick offered a warm home for all of us. Thank you Andrew and staff!"

The organizers urge everyone to bring their friends, neighbors, and family to Winter Lights this Saturday: "Please come enjoy these events and everything that Milford has to offer!"

For more information visit the Winter Lights Facebook page.





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