The Episcopal Church Women’s have been hosting their Annual Fiesta, Chili luncheon, for 59 years. 

Mark your calendar for Feb. 4, when the Episcopal Church Women’s 59th Annual Fiesta, Chili luncheon, takes place.

“The Episcopal Church Women open the parish hall and invite everyone – our neighbors, friends and family – to join us for this year’s worthwhile event,” said Linda Jean Brown, who, along with Kathy Stites, serves as a co-chair for this year’s event.

“Proceeds from the Fiesta are put back into our community to assist in various programs for those in need.”

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 106 E. Crawford St., on Crawford and North Sycamore streets.

There are a couple of dinning options this year: Dine-in and/or Carry-out. Delivery also will be available for business convenience. Arrangements for delivery need to be made in advance.

If your business plans to use this service, the deadline to call in will be Friday, Jan. 31. Call Delivery Chairman Linda Jean Brown, 903-478-3264.

Serving hours for Dine-In run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Take Out hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those with large orders to pick up at the take-out area, please call ahead so that the order will be ready when you arrive, 903-729-4214.

ECW members will sell tickets for $10 each. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the event.

This fundraiser has been going strong for almost six decades.

In 1961, Frances and Elizabeth Naylor were named to the Ways and Means Committee of the Episcopal Women on the Church.

The Naylors broached the subject of turning their chili supper into a Fiesta to be used as a money making project for all the women of the church. Everyone agreed and the ball started rolling.

All church women were contacted and asked to volunteer for jobs of their choice.

Admission was 50 cents – collected at the door.

Lib Fish furnished the chili recipe and copies were distributed to anyone who wanted to make chili.

Decorations included anything with a Fiesta theme that the women could borrow.

Two hundred people were served during the noon and evening. The next year the group raised the price of admission to 75 cents.

Ponchos were made for the waitresses and paper flowers were also made and worn in their hair. They made a special effort to make the decorations more elaborate and were rewarded when roughly 500 people showed up to be served. This spurred the group to make Fiesta a permanent part of its church activities.

All men, women, and children of St. Philip’s Episcopal are an important part of Fiesta.

“We invite you and your group to, once again, enjoy this time together with members of our community, as we reflect on those early days, and the ladies and gentlemen no longer with us, whose dedication and determination have continued with the church's “Fiesta” Chili Luncheon,” Brown said.

Today, the event serves more than 1,000 meals, using the original chili recipe.

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