Source: Richland Source – www.richlandsource.com
May 19, 2016
MANSFIELD – Fans of good food and good music are in for a treat this weekend with the return of a favorite Mansfield tradition.
The third-annual Shriners Chili & Wing Cook Off and Blues Fest will be held on Saturday May 21 on the Miracle Mile in Mansfield. The festival, which takes place on Park Avenue West in Mansfield, will kick off at 3 p.m. with emcee Tommy Barnes of WMAN officially opening the competition.
The entire event is coordinated by the Mansfield Miracle Mile Business Association, and sponsored by major sponsors Milliron Auto Parts, Avita Health System, Sam’s Club, Meijer, Hope Depot and iHeart Media.
Mike Miranda, a Shriner and owner of Miracle Mile Motors, said the goal of the festival is two-fold.
“It’s a premiere community event for the Richland County area that not only provides a great source of entertainment, but it’s a great benefit for the Shriners Children’s Hospital’s local transportation unit,” Miranda said.
All proceeds raised at the Chili & Wing Cook Off will go to the Al Koran Shriners Hospital for Children Transportation Fund, used locally to help children receive the medical treatment they need.
“Our two closest hospitals are Erie and Cincinnati. If you’re tight on funds, driving to those locations might be a challenge,” Miranda explained. “We have a local Shriners transportation unit; the Mansfield Shriners Club will transport you and your child to the appropriate facility and take care of lodging and food. So all the money is staying here.”
The core mission of the 22 Shriners Hospitals throughout the country is to care for children regardless of a parent’s means of payment. Locally, Miranda said the Shriners clubs like to fly under the radar.
“We just want to take care of kids. At the end of the day, our main responsibility locally is transportation of those kids,” Miranda said. “If you have no insurance and your child is in need, we’ll take your kid in and you don’t have to worry about it.”
The Chili & Wing Cook Off will feature 19 contestants from three divisions: restaurants, non-profits and public safety. The public safety category is new this year, with entries from the Mansfield Police Department, the Richland and Ashland County Sheriff’s offices and the Mansfield Fire Department.
“Hopefully we don’t get a hose fight breaking out,” Miranda joked. “It’ll be a neat interaction with people. Hopefully next year we can get people from Shelby and Lexington and make it a nice big event.”
In addition to the Chili & Wing Cook Off, other food options include food trailers offering desserts and ice cream, brats and Italian sausages, and brisket and pulled pork. Buffalo Wild Wings will also be hosting a wing-eating contest in the afternoon.
The entire day will be underscored by the mellow music of the Blues Festival. Artists featured include the Jimi Vincent Band, the Mark May Band, Alter Ego, and Walk It Off.
“Great chili, great wings and a beer garden – there’s a plethora of good, fun stuff as long as you’re not on a diet,” Miranda said with a laugh. “Come out and join us, it’ll be a lot of fun.”