Downtown Chili Cook-Off

Join chili makers and tasters for the 15th annual Downtown Chili Cook-off — one of the many fun-filled events that will be featured at the Celebrate Fuquay-Varina Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7.

A menagerie of neighbors, family, friends, local businesses and organizations will create unique chili concoctions from recipes old and new. You, the public, will vote on the tastiest chili in all of Fuquay-Varina!

Prize money and bragging rights are to be awarded by the nonprofit Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Association, an organization committed to building community.

The chili cook-off is a wonderful opportunity to “gather with friends and grow relationships,” said FVDA Executive Director Dawn Russell. (FVDA) “supports the local business community and builds on the character of what makes Fuquay-Varina special. Fuquay-Varina Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood.”

Tasting tickets are $10 dollars each and include a voting token and a sample of every made-from-scratch pot of chili. All proceeds from the event will benefit the FVDA, contributing to the further development of a vibrant downtown.

With 20 contestants already entered into the contest, it’s anyone’s game. The number of votes given to each team will determine the People’s Choice winner, and first through third placement will be determined by a panel of judges who will consider the aroma, texture, taste and after-taste of each chili in a blind test.

Of course, the real winners are all who attend the event.

“I had an awesome time meeting so many new friends, seeing old classmates, teachers and fellowshipping with the other teams,” said Bryan Haynes, last year’s third place Chili Cook-off winner and first place winner in the town’s recent BBQ, Blues and Brews Festival, along with People’s Choice winner.

In 2016, the Celebrate Fuquay-Varina Festival was rescheduled to the same day as the Downtown Chili Cook-off due to the weather conditions caused by Hurricane Matthew.

“Merging the events worked well for both organizations,” said Russell. “The town and FVDA decided to partner again this year. We believe that this is a great example of organizations working together within the community.”

The Downtown Chili Cook-off will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., with winners to be announced at 2:45 p.m.

And now that the cook-off is a part of the Celebrate Fuquay-Varina Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be plenty to keep you entertained while other tasters cast their votes.

The cook-off will take place on Vance Street beside The Mason Jar Tavern. Bring your taste buds on!

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