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Downtown Ithaca Hosts Chili Cook-Off on Saturday


Get your palates ready for Downtown Ithaca’s 25th Annual Chili Cook-Off happening this weekend. Organizers say this year marks the silver anniversary of the event, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Saturday’s Chili Cook-Off features more than 40 restaurants and eateries in the region, presenting their gourmet chilis to the public. Sweet, spicy, and tangy varieties of meat and veggie chilis will be available for guests to taste and vote for their favorites.

While the DIA is currently recruiting restaurants for the cook-off, some confirmed participants include Anters Restaurant, Babes Burger, Cafe Dewitt, Covered Bridge, Luna Inspired Street Food, She Messy Tacos, Simeons American Bistro, and The Bistro at La Tourelle. The participating culinary experts will compete for People’s Choice and Best Presentation honors. At the same time, a juried panel will decide the top three entries for Best Meat Chili, Best Vegetarian Chili, and Best Local Beverage. The grand prize is the famed Chili Cook-Off trophy and plenty of bragging rights!

Alongside various chilis, the event will also showcase chili-inspired baked goods and other food items. Additionally, locally produced crafted brews, wines, and ciders will be available to those 21+ with proper State ID.

Leading up to this spicy event, check out the Space Chili Challenge, a custom-designed video game created by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. The three highest scores will win a prize. To learn more and play the game, click here.

“We look forward to the Chili Cook-Off every year, and we’re thrilled with the tremendous community support this event has received during these past 24 years. This competition is typically fierce but friendly, so we expect many tasty chilies and chili-inspired items that everyone may enjoy. The public is truly in for a treat. We thank Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis and Visions Federal Credit Union for supporting this ultimate foodie and family-friendly event,” says Darlene M. Wilber, communications director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Chili Cook-Off tickets are now on sale. To purchase tickets or for more information, click here.

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