Chilifest 2008 Gets Underway

Chilifest is underway once again.

The annual two-day mix of cookoffs and country music began Friday near Snook in Burleson County. Thousands packed into the area following Friday morning's storms, but muddy conditions didn't keep many away.

The event is in its 17th year, and is responsible for raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities.

Friday sees a number of cookoffs between teams, with Saturday seeing even bigger crowds as music becomes the main attraction.

With thousands turning out, security is ramped up. Law enforcement agencies from across the region provide help, but according to Burleson County Constable Dennis Gaas, who heads up security, the partiers remain relatively well behaved.

With tens of thousands in attendance, Gaas said around 100 citations were issued last year, not counting the tickets given out by DPS to drivers outside the event.

"They're out there," Gaas said of his securitiy. "Even if you have a (wrist) band over 21, if you look like you're under 21, you're going to get asked for your ID. Those that have a little too much to drink, they're an endangerment to themselves or to others, then we bring those up there also.

"We never have any complaints about them," Chilifest 2008 Head Chairman Travis Britt said. "Everybody seems to get along. They'll walk up and down the aisle and make sure everything's going smooth. Security holds this whole place together. There's a lot of people here. Security is our backbone."

The event continues Saturday.

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