Taste-testers pick the winners at Winter Lights Festival

Milford. There was little room to move as each taster picked up their sample cups of chili and mac-n-cheese, prepared by restaurants and home cooks alike, then washed them down with delicious local brews. After several samples and careful consideration, the tastes picked their three top choices in each category, then worked it off with dancing to the music of Marc Von Em.

| 23 Jan 2020 | 04:29

A U-shaped line made it possible for tasters to try 28 different mac-n-cheese and chili entries at Milford's Winter Lights Festival on Saturday.

And they returned to try their favorites all over again, just to be sure they picked the real winner in the annual contest, one taster told The Courier.

There was little room to move as each taster picked up their sample cups. Many stopped to try at least one of the several local craft beers available as they returned to their seats. Sampling and voting ended at 2 p.m., while the music and brews continued for another hour.

Milford's Marc Von Em entertained the crowd with soulful, acoustic-driven pop-rock. He's a prolific songwriter and consummate entertainer with three studio albums to his credit. Von Em has toured the world with The Rob Thomas Band (Matchbox 20) and performs as a solo artist at venues throughout the tristate and Hudson Valley region.

Price Chopper sponsored the event.

Here are the winners:

Chili winners:

● First place: Bens Fresh, Port Jervis, N.Y.

● Second place: Roastin' Beasts BBQ

● Third place: Jay Lyon

Mac-n-cheese winners:

● First place: The Dimmick Inn, Milford, Pa.

● Second place: Tre Amici Ristorante Italiano, Narrowsburg, N.Y.

● Third place: Sandra Cline

Participating home chefs:

● Kim Hart

● Justin Frable

● Sandra Cline

● Carol Pranga

● Taffy Banghart

● Scott Shadis

● Dan Heinz

● Donna Zimmerman

● Sarah Sutton

● Kurt Brink

● Jason Lyon

● James Furmman

● Rocco Depompe

● Pron Depomay

● Peg Parlapiano

● Dan Heinz

● Leanne LePalme

● Heidi Kennedy

● Diane Bell

● Rick McCallum

● Susan Whitenack

Participating restaurants:

● Ben's Fresh

● Mountain House Tavern & Grill

● The Dimmick Inn

● Tre Amici Ristorante Italiano

● Bar Louis at The Hotel Fauchere

● 403 Broad

● Roasting Beasts BBQ