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Fall Fest collects funds for Chamber

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:00 am

Thirty two barbecue cook-off teams fired up grills for the 12th annual Louise Hillje Fall Festival last Friday, holding the event at the Mill Project sight for a second year.

“This is our fourth year to do the Louise Fall Fest cook-off, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a little cook-off or a big cook-off, we love it – the atmosphere, the people getting together, just being able to be together is great,” El Campo resident Diana Garza said. She’s a member of the Girls Just Want to Have Fun cooking team.

Sausage was judged Friday evening, as well as showmanship of the cooking teams. Each cooking team had the opportunity to decorate their area in a theme.

Some of the themes were disco, “Pittsburg Stealer,” and even a Friday Night Lights display with the cookers wearing Louise and El Campo football jerseys.

“The theme was chosen by the women, that’s what they wanted to do so we went with it, and we’ve done the Louise Fall Fest cook-off every year they’ve had it, and we really enjoy it,” said Louise resident Paul Blumrick of the Natural Cookers team which won the showmanship award for their football theme.

There was a band with a dance floor, featuring Adriana Live, which kept the energy going until the late hours, and then it was a bright and early start Saturday morning.

Several vendors were on hand Saturday selling goods such as quilts, jewelry, makeup, yard art, baked goods, shirts, floral designs and even a few wineries. Louise ISD was there offering several activities such as a cake walk to raise money for the Louise Elementary activity fund and musical chairs to raise money for Louise Middle School student council. The Louise High School advanced floral department was selling festive wreaths they designed and made themselves.

“We came out today to try and raise money to help purchase real flowers to work with in class, and I love being able to embrace my creativity with floral design, also being a part of the festival is important because it gives everyone the chance to help each other out as a community,” said Louise High School senior Kyli Jensen, who aspires to go into fashion design.

Other events included a pet costume contest, pumpkin decorating contest and pumpkin sale, dunking booth hosted by Louise High School cheerleaders and kid’s tractor pull.

The 50/50 raffle winner, Brandon George from El Campo, donated all the money back to the chamber. BFM BBQ Company, the first place brisket winners, also donated $500 of their winnings back to the chamber. Just before the cook-off winners were announced however, there was a live auction with items such as a rifle, a fishing pole, a tricycle, three cakes, and a few bottles of wine.

“I just moved to Louise after hurricane Harvey, but I came to the cook-off last year and loved it, and I love the community and the involvement with everyone here, this is a great time,” Louise resident Blake Eggemeyer said.

The event raised $23,420 for the Louise Hillje Chamber.

“Events like this bring awareness to people of what a beautiful community we have, and what we have to offer, and I think it’s good for the community to have a healthy, wonderful place to come and have fellowship and a good time together,” said Louise resident Juanita Snider, who’s also a member of the 2018 award winning Louise Beautification Committee.

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