MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD)– The air is starting to get cooler, which means it’s the perfect time for a good bowl of chili. The ULM Alumni Association held its 37th annual chili cookoff on Saturday.

Sarah Siereveld, the director of alumni affairs, tells us more about the event. “It’s our 37th annual Don Weems Chili Cook Off.” Every year we have contestants from all over the state come up to ULM to participate in our chili cook-off. We have two different divisions: student and open. So students compete in their own division, and community members, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in the open division. And then the people always get to have a vote. So we also give out the People’s Choice Award. So just because the judging panel might have awarded you first place, you might not win the “people’s choice award.”

Ernest Finch, a member of the 2021 winning team, tells us more about why they compete. “So we actually started this when we were students here, so they were fraternity members here, and we decided to enter at that time.” And there’s no better way to stay plugged in than to just keep doing it. So we just decided to do it from students now alumni.”

Finch and his team have competed for several years as alumni, and Finch says it’s a great way to support the university. “I think we’ve done it for at least seven years; we’ve won a few times, but basically anytime we have an opportunity to support this university, we’d like to come out and do it, and if we have the benefit of cooking chili and having a good time, we’re not going to pass that up.”