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Derby Chamber chili cook-off returns with high spirits

Excitement, fellowship and the smell of a couple dozen pots of chili filled the air at Madison Avenue Central Park on Oct. 9 as businesses, patrons and community leaders gathered for the Derby Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-Off.

The sixth annual event returned to Madison Avenue Central Park this month after one year off amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The cook-off experienced yet another delay when the event was postponed by a week due to inclement weather, but that didn’t appear to impact turnout.

Pairing with the chili contest were the regular Kansas Grown! Farmers Market and a free ice cream social event hosted by the League of Women Voters. Attendees could grab a free ice cream cone, register to vote, and meet some of the local candidates for the Nov. 2 election.


Eric Hollingsworth of E&J Cleaning, right, speaks with Brenda Fleming during the tasting portion of the chili cook-off. Businesses and other organizations operated booths with their own chilis, with many businesses offering other treats for their own special flare.

Aside from bringing their best chili, many businesses offered other fun to stand out from the crowd. Some paired their chili with cinnamon rolls or other treats while others brought props and more.

Members of the public could buy a $5 tasting kit upon arrival and later cast their votes in three different categories: People’s Choice, Best Business Spirit, and Battle of the Badges, which goes to the best chili between the Derby Police Department and Derby Fire and Rescue.

The chamber sold 389 tasting kits, and a total of 22 chamber member businesses participated.

A fourth category, Mayor’s Choice, was determined by Mayor Randy White, former Mayor Dion Avello, and leaders from McConnell Air Force Base.


Rael Hodgson State Farm crew members Clara Streeter, left, and Aubree Holloran wore dinosaur costumes during the chili cook-off. The group’s efforts ultimately earned them the Best Business Spirit award.


In the end, the Derby Recreation Commission earned both the Mayor’s Choice award and third place in the People’s Choice. Keene Insight Financial Strategies earned second place in People’s Choice, and MJB Heating and Cooling took first. Derby Fire and Rescue took home the Battle of the Badges trophy, and State Farm earned Best Business Spirit.

The event will be back next year during the second weekend of October, Derby Chamber President Mark Staats said, with the third weekend of the month serving as a backup date.

Click here for more photos from the event.

KDHE lifts boil water advisory for Derby, Sedgwick County Rural Water District No. 3

The boil water advisory for the City of Derby has been lifted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, effective 11:40 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10.

View the KDHE news release

The water advisory was also rescinded for Sedgwick County Rural Water District No. 3 on Sunday morning, according to a release from KDHE.

Laboratory testing samples collected from Sedgwick County Rural Water District No. 3 indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

The advisory was issued because of a loss of pressure in the City of Wichita’s distribution system due to a waterline break. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

Laboratory testing samples collected from the City of Derby indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

Public water suppliers in Kansas take all measures necessary to notify customers quickly after a system failure or shutdown. Regardless of whether it’s the supplier or KDHE that announces a boil water advisory, KDHE will issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.

KDHE recommends doing the following before resuming normal water use:

  • Run each faucet for 10 to 15 minutes to flush your lines. 
  • Customers with residential ice makers should dispose of the ice and allow the ice makers to cycle two times before using the ice.

“We are happy to announce that the Boil Water Advisory has been lifted for the City of Derby,” said Robert Mendoza, Director of Public Works. “We appreciate the quick work by the City of Wichita and KDHE to get water back in service to our residents and businesses.” 

If you have questions, call the City of Derby at 316-788-0301 (7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon. – Fri.) or email info@derbyweb.com. For consumer information, visit the KDHE Public Water Supply Consumer Information webpage at www.kdheks.gov/pws/emergencyresponse/water_disruption.htm