Chilli tester extraordinaire ( sent by the king of Tallandia, whos king is more than 12 feet tall. ), declares the Pipestone Flyer team’s chilli to be his choice in the taste test. In reality, we placed third after two restaurants that had entered, Kosmos and Burnsy O’Flannigans, on Main St.
Summer on Main Street culminates with a main street party.
If you were not at the Downtown Progress Association's final Summer On Main bash on Saturday September, 21st, then you really missed the best end of summer party of the entire year!
According to the official count, 2,100 people did manage to find their way down to the historic part of Main Street Leduc (50 Ave. between 49 St. & 47 St.) and packed the blocked off avenue with bodies of all ages and sizes enjoying all the offerings and entertainment available.
A costumed stilt walker towered over the crowd as he cruised from one end of the Avenue to the other. People strolling along sometimes picked up an extra tag-a-long to their group as a juggler endlessly tossed his pins up in the air and over heads as he followed them down the street. Two different bands had staked their claim to a spot at opposite ends of the avenue and had people dancing in the street to their infectious tunes, particularly the group that called themselves the Tubsteppers. Playing folk/country/bluegrass styled tunes on a washboard, acoustic guitar, a tub bass, and a mandolin, they kept toes tapping and feet stomping all down the block.
Face painters, Choo Choo the Clown and his amazing balloon creations, a bouncy house, cotton candy, a chalk artist creating beautiful sidewalk creations, antique tractors on display, and a self guided historic building tour spearheaded by the Pipestone Flyer's own historical writer Tom Dirsa, ensured there were activities for people of all ages and interests to attract them to the downtown core.
However, the real action along the Avenue had nothing to do with bands, acrobats, artists or jugglers. What really got everyone excited and cruising the length of the street again and again was the great Chili Cook Off! Seven separate tents offered the finest variations of beef and beans to be found this side of Texas! They were all vying to become the winner of the People's Choice Award with each chef encouraging all the tasters to vote for their amazing concoction.
Traditional chilis were definitely on the menu but unique variations were also available to tempt the taste buds. Beverly Becket, the former E.D. of the DPA who was hosting this extravaganza, was pulling people in by the dozen with her Bison Chili and home made buttermilk biscuits. Kosmos Chef Lyle Bianic and Leigh Tetzlaff did the restaurant proud by taking home the Peoples Choice first place award for their classic Chili recipe. And our very own Editor at the Pipestone Flyer, Ted Okkerse and his wife Diane entered their original take on the dish with a pumpkin spice chili with just a hint on peanut butter that was both sweet and spicy. It was a hit with the public. The judges obviously agreed by awarding them the third place Judges Award.
Kosmos who took the much coveted People's Choice Chili Pot Award for the best chili on the Avenue.
The party ran from 11:30 – 3:30 pm and was the culmination of a series of Saturday events that took place this year called Summer On Main. With the huge successes that this series of events generated and big support from the downtown merchants, it is almost a sure thing that the DPA will continue with this project next year, growing and encouraging the sustainability of Leduc's historic downtown shopping district.