Chilifest: What Comes After the Party?

Good to Know:

  • This year marks the 23-year milestone for the annual event.
  • Money raised from the event supports at least 18 different area charities.
  • The clean-up effort takes 3-4 days by some estimates.

SNOOK - Lots of people had fun this weekend at Chilifest, but there's an aftermath in Snook each year.

So what happens after the bands pack up and the party people leave?

The clean up.

"A lot of us out here, we don't have a lot of money and it gets us a little bit of money and a little bit of work to pay the bills and get whatever we need. My whole living room set came from (here) so I didn't have to go out and buy a whole brand new living room set."

Norma Moses and her friends are from the surrounding community.

"They leave couches, they leave beer, they leave everything," Moses said.

"It helps the community. Especially Snook. It helps Snook a lot. A lot. Everybody that comes out here doesn't have a lot of money, so yeah it helps everybody."

They've got a lot of work to do, but they don't let that stop them from having a good time themselves.

“It's good to get together once in a while and chill with them. Even though we're picking up trash we still talk and conversate and have a good time."

For Lori Gonzales, the mess is symbolic.

"Coming out here and seeing all this is like wow, they had a great time."

"It's good to see how much fun people have when they come to our town," Gonzales said.

For all the charities Chilifest benefits, the clean up helps in its own way.

"We don't want this trash to blow everywhere and then the farmers have to deal with it and everybody else has to deal with it," said Gonzales.

The festival helps charities. And it boosts the local economy when people come in support the businesses. And through the money that clean up crews earn, because as members of the community, that money circulates back to the local economy.

Everyone benefits. Not too shabby for a big party.

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