Chili lovers rejoice! The Simsbury Chamber of Commerce has officially announced the return of its wildly popular Simsbury Spooktacular Chili Challenge this fall. The 4th annual event will take place on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 pm at the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center on Iron Horse Boulevard. This competition is a fully-sanctioned International Chili Society (ICS) cook-off.
Last year’s cook-off attracted nearly 3,000 patrons, 16 of the area’s favorite eateries, and 47 local vendors. Adult cooks competed for the $1,000 grand prize, which was awarded to Jonathan Everin from New York. At the debut of the youth competition last year for kids ages 17 and under, 10-year-old Simsbury native Dylan Grossman took home the $250 grand prize.
“The event has grown in size and excitement each of the last three years, and we’re so excited to once again present one of our biggest community events of the year,” said Lisa Gray, Executive Director of the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce. “We are also thrilled to announce the Simsbury Art Trail has been extended so that people can see all of the sculptures together in one place when they attend the Chili Challenge!”
The Simsbury Art Trail consists of 32 life-size sculptures by internationally renowned artist Seward Johnson. The bronze painted depictions of people doing ordinary things has been on display since May in various locations around town. The sculptures will all be transported to the Simsbury PAC for the event on the 27th.
Once again, Hassett & George, P. C., a law firm owned by Simsbury Chamber of Commerce President Lou George, will serve as a Hot Sponsor of the event. Other sponsors this year include Alliances by Alisa Media Relations, People’s United Bank, Phase Zero Design, and Simsbury Bank. Customized sponsor opportunities are available, and vendor spaces are just $150.
The Spooktacular Chili Challenge is designed to appeal to the whole family! Along with the cooks, there will be local vendors, live entertainment, beer, wine, and hard cider tasting. Kids can look forward to trick-or-treating, a touch-a-truck display, costume contests, clowns, and more. Updated information about this year’s outstanding entertainment lineup and activities will be posted continuously on the website.
Amateur award categories are best Red Chili, Chili Verde, Salsa and People’s Choice. Restaurants can compete for the “Best Darn Chili” title and a Chili Bowl trophy which the winner can proudly display in their restaurant until next year’s challenge.
Cooks can sign up to compete on the ICS website, www.chilicookoff.com. Volunteers receive free admission to the event, followed by a thank you party hosted by The North House Restaurant in Avon.