This coming weekend one of my favorite events of the entire season will rock Palm Springs. October 11-13 The Spa Resort and Casino in the very heart of downtown will become the place to be for one and all. With more than 400 competitors arriving with hundreds of the best chili recipes on the planet, where else would a chili lover choose to be? Every year it seems to get bigger and better so I must not be the only one around who appreciates gourmet chili!
Like most events in the valley, this one will also benefit charity including three right here in the valley: the Mizell Senior Center, the Pegasus Riding Academy and the USO Palm Springs. This event is sanctioned by the ICS (International Chili Society) which has raised $91 million dollars thanks to their regional chili cook-offs since they started in 1967. Not a bad track record for generosity to say the very least!
Chili experts will compete for $55,000 in prizes in four main categories this year which include: Red Chili, Chili Verde (green), Salsa, and Home-style. That sounds like my kind of charity event! The Spa Resort and Casino could not be a more perfect venue either with all that parking and mountain views that take your breath away. When you have had your fill of chili there is always trendy Palm Canyon to explore, the Spa facilities and amenities to partake of, the Casino to visit or plenty of local restaurants and lounges for relaxation and rejuvenation!
New to this year’s event will be the Restaurant and Military/Public Service Divisions which will have separate prizes from the main World’s Championship Chili Cook-off. Judges for the competitions are past ICS World’s Champions, ICS sponsors, ICS cook-off chairman, ICS Certified Chili Judges, celebrity chefs, local dignitaries and invited guests.
During the long weekend of fun visitors will party and dance to live music featuring country, classic rock and Latin bands, Kid Zone, 50 vendors of art/food trucks/food booths and much more. One thing about the timing is that October usually offers perfect weather and this year is no exception. With snow predicted this week in our local mountains don’t be surprised if you see white covered peaks surrounding us from the venue. This is the kind of weekend that puts you in a holiday mood and reminds us all of why we choose to live in this incredible desert community.
Bring the family or come as a couple but don’t miss the 47th Annual Chili Cook-Off this weekend. Hope to see you there!