PARIS — More than 500 people attended a business showcase and chili and chowder tasting Saturday, enough for organizers to promise another one next year.

“We’re returning to the roots of the business shows,” said John Williams, executive director of the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce. It had been four years since the chamber had held a similar public event. “We’re going to make this annual.”

About 75 businesses filled booths with displays at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. The food event featured nine organizations.

Woody’s Delivery & Carry-Out and the Oxford Casino each made chowder. The Oxford Hills Technical School Culinary Arts Program, Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice and Ari’s Pizza made chili. The Norway Trolley House, Tim Horton’s, Daddy O’s and Polly’s Variety each made both.

About 250 attendees tasted the food and cast ballots.

They awarded People Choice honors to the school culinary arts program for its chili and to the casino for its chowder, a Cajun crab and corn chowder.

Williams credited the food with giving a boost to the business show.

“I really think it was a catalyst for the whole event,” he said.

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