The Westerville Division of Fire will be naming a new chief this Sunday.

The Westerville Division of Fire will be naming a new chief this Sunday.

As part of the division's last event celebrating its 150th anniversary, it will host a hamburger cook-off that will pit local restaurants against firefighters for the title of "Burger Chief of Westerville."

The event, titled Grillin' and Chillin', is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 3 at Fire Station 111, 400 W. Main St. In addition to the burger competition, there will be a fire-safety themed performance by McAxe and the Firecrew, booths offering safety information and a ceremony to officially close the 150th anniversary celebration.

"This is our 150th anniversary, and this is our last official event," Assistant Battalion Chief John Bokros said. "We've combined that celebration with our annual open house. I describe it as our three F's: Fun, food and fire safety."

The hamburger competition will be much of the event's focus, Bokros said. Residents will be invited to taste each of the contest entries before a "Throwdown"-style competition to determine a winner.

Between 1 and 1:45 p.m., burgers prepared by the firefighters' team and Bel-Lago will be offered; hamburgers from Polaris Grille and Jimmy V's will follow from 1:45 to 2:30. From 2:30 to 3, chefs will publicly prepare their burgers for three celebrity judges, and an awards ceremony will follow.

Bokros said the winner will be given a white fire helmet declaring him or her to be "Burger Chief of Westerville."

The competition, he said, has been heating up as chefs prepare their entries.

"(The chefs) have been in contact, issuing challenges to one another, getting kind of fun," Bokros said. "It seems like it might be a little bit competitive."

At the fire station, he said a team of about 15 firefighters has been hard at work finding the perfect burger recipe.

"They have been practicing their hamburgers and think they have the best hamburger," he said.

Burgers will be judged on a 100-point system, with up to 20 points being given for presentation, up to 30 points for originality and up to 50 points for flavor.

A "people's choice" award also will be given for best hamburger.

The performance by McAxe and the Firecrew, an Indianapolis-based group, will teach fire safety to children. The event, including the burger tastings, is free to the public, Bokros said, but those attending are asked to bring food to be donated to the Westerville Area Resource Ministry.

For every can of food a child brings to donate, he or she will be given a firetruck-shaped Silly Band, Bokros said. He said he believes the event will be a fitting closing to the fire department's year of celebration, which included a gala in February and a fire expo and muster in August.

"We tried to come up with a fun idea to end our 150th celebration. A cookout seemed the idea, and it kind of evolved into this," Bokros said. "I think it's a great way to end our celebration."

For more information about the event or on the fire department's 150th anniversary, visit