Tyrone restaurant hopes to heat up annual ChiliFest

Harry Sickler’s Bull Pen restaurant sells a lot of chili so he figures it must be good. Good enough to compete in the 3rd annual “Satan’s Revenge ChiliFest” in Altoona next month.
The event raises funding for the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society and draws chili lovers from across the region. The Bull Pen may benefit from that exposure by giving folks a taste of their popular dish.
Bull Pen Chef Chris Conte, who cooks most of the chili, is already thinking about the competition.
And it’s tough.
The “all you can eat” event at Uriah’s Pub in Altoona on Sunday, December 7th will feature offerings from The Phoenix (winner’s of the 2002 “Best Bowl” trophy), Altoona Hotel (with new Chef Bill Sell), Uriah’s Pub (first year “People’s Choice” winner), newcomers T.G.I. Fridays (Altoona), The Bull Pen (Tyrone) and back again after winning last years “Peoples Choice,” the Altoona Fire Department with “Flashover Chili” from veteran fireman Rick Weidlich.
Again, this year’s event participants will be treated to some really hot music from Zupe, the ‘one-man-band’ according to organizers. Zupe’s music has been featured on network television shows and made the hit charts in Europe.
“He’s an amazing talent,” says Dave Hopkins, executive director of CPHS and event organizer.
CPHS will provide some appetizers and Uriah’s kitchen will be open if party goers decide to sample the wings or other “bar food.”
Another feature of the event is the special celebrity guest judging panel. This year the group will include Tyrone Daily Herald Editor Kerry Webster, WTAJ-TV Meteorologist Joe Murgo, WJAC-TV News Anchor Marty Radovanic, WWCP-TV Meteorologist Travis Koshko, Altoona Mirror Editor Linda Gracey, WMAJ (Majic radio) DJ & Program Director Jim “Voo Doo Daddy” Pettiford, WBXQ (Q-94) morning DJ & Program Director Adam Erickson, and WALY morning DJ and Program Director Roger Corey along with special guest (will he show?) “Eddie Ray.”
All guests will automatically be eligible for a variety of door prizes and can purchase 50/50 chances. Funds raised from the event will be used to help furnish the new animal observation center soon to be constructed by CPHS.
“We need cages to house the animals, an air filtration system and other furnishings,” says Hopkins. “We’re hoping the community will come out and support not only this event, but our other regular fundraising events throughout the year such as ‘Ski for the Animals’ which will be held at Blue Knob Ski resort in late January.”
This years sponsors include W.S. Lee & Sons, the Brew Zoo, Blair Orthopedic Associates & Sports Medicine, Dr. Ralph McKibbin, Burgmeir Hauling, the Razor’s Edge, Coors Light & Inco Beverage, the Gingrich Agency, Blair Insurance, Auto Wholesalers, the DeGol Organization and Dr. Michael Moncman.
Tickets for this years’ ChiliFest are $12 each and can be bought at participating restaurants such as the Bull Pen, The Daily Herald, or at the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society (942-2477 or 942-5402). Tickets must be purchased in advance and none will be sold at the door. The event is open to those 21 and over in age.
For more information, contact Dave Hopkins at 942-2477.