PALMER — Tailgate Tavern’s annual Soup Off event returns on Feb. 3, taking place from 1-3 p.m. at the restaurant.

This year, all money raised at the event will be donated to nonprofit Light Up Palmer to assist with their Purple Heart banner project and yearly Christmas decoration displays, event coordinator and daytime bartender Michelle Casey told Reminder Publishing. She explained that Light Up Palmer was chosen because their work “benefits everyone here in Palmer.” In years past, the event has also supported the Palmer Lions Club, provided funds for a resident with cancer, and donated for breast cancer.

The Soup Off is an annual competition between Palmer residents to enter the first prize-winning soup. On the day of the competition, restaurant staff set up the participating soups in the pool room. Residents who attend are given small cups to taste each soup and three tokens to vote for their favorite, Casey explained. Visitors are required to pay a $5 donation to participate in the tasting.

Once the voting period has ended, the soup with the highest number of tokens wins first place. Second and third place winners are also announced, Casey said. Winners receive a prize donated by local businesses. During the event, the restaurant will also have a raffle for baskets with various items.

“It gets very busy in here,” Casey said, emphasizing that the event always attracts a large crowd. She stated that residents begin to call each year in November to ask if the Soup Off will be held again the coming year.

Residents interested in entering a soup must notify the restaurant “the sooner the better,” Casey said. There is a sign up sheet available in the restaurant with the bartender.

On Feb. 3, participants should bring one pot to Tailgate Tavern by noon. There is no cost to submit a soup and no limit on the number of soups a resident can submit. Stews and chili cannot be entered, Casey stated. However, there are no other restrictions on soups entered.

Since ingredient lists will not be included with the soups, Casey recommended that people with food allergies do not participate in the tasting.

The Soup Off is one of three events this year where Tailgate Tavern is collecting donations for Light Up Palmer. Between these events, Casey stated that the restaurant would likely raise “a few thousand [dollars]” for the nonprofit.

lmason@thereminder.com | + posts