Community members of Fremont County and Eastern Idaho are invited to a free chili cook-off to welcome Officer Alexandra Larrea as Island Park’s new state trooper for the Idaho State Police Department on July 24 from 5- 8 p.m. at Harriman State Park.

Originally, it was going to be a day where kids could go hiking, Larrea said. However, after talking with those at Harriman State Park, they decided it should be an opportunity where not just families could participate but all residents throughout Eastern Idaho could come together.

“We decided a chili cook-off would be a great opportunity,” she said. “Everybody loves good food, cornbread and there will be games for everyone.”

For those who are interested in participating in the chili competition, they can register by contacting Morgan Smith from Harriman State Park at (208) 558-7368.

There will be two competing categories called people’s choice and judge’s choice. The winner of the judge’s choice will get a one night stay in a yurt at Harriman State Park.

Kids will be able to participate in activities such as dummy calf roping, a corn hole competition and they’ll be able to get their pictures taken by the river.

Larrea is originally from San Diego. She visited Idaho for a few months and later decided to apply for the Idaho State Police. She has enjoyed her experience being a state trooper for Island Park.

“The residents there have been fantastic, they’ve welcomed me,” she said. “It’s a great place to live, it’s a small community, everybody knows each other. They treat each other like family up there and I can really appreciate that coming from a bigger city.”

Larrea encourages people to be aware of the construction projects on Ashton Hill and to be prepared for delays. She advises people to put away distractions to help prevent accidents. She also cautions people about the speed limit going from Island Park to West Yellowstone. She said it changes from 65 to 45 several times.

“It can kind of sneak up on you, so it’s just something to be aware of,” she said. “Just make sure your paying attention to where you’re at and what the speed limit is.”

For those interested in attending the chili cook-off, there will be a $5 entry fee into the park.

“Anybody can come and check out all the good food!” she said.