The West Chester Rotary Club will host the 10th annual Chili Cookoff on Sunday October 14 with the gates opening at 10:30 a.m.
According to Rotary club president Jeannie McGinn, all of the proceeds from the event go directly back into the community.
“The rotary club gives out grants that we call Community Philanthropic Committee grants,” McGinn said. “On Sunday we will hand out over $33,000 in grants.”
The cookoff has doubled in size since its first year a decade ago with 72 teams scheduled to compete this year. The first year had 34 teams.
“We have the teams divided up into four categories,” McGinn said. “They are restaurants, businesses, hometown and non-profit.”
For several years people who have attended the event have complained about crowds, but McGinn is excited because this year the event will cross over High Street hopefully providing more space.
“This is the first year the cookoff will cross over High Street,” McGinn said. “The event will start on Walnut and go all the way down to New Street an Gay.”
McGinn also added that the Rotary club will charge a $10 admission fee for a wristband for all-you-can-eat chili.
“We also give each person with a wristband three wooden nickels,” McGinn said. “That way they can vote for their favorite chili.”
At the end of the festivities each team will count up their nickels and a cash prize will be awarded to the People’s Choice Champion.
There will also be a judge’s prize.
“We couldn’t do this with out the support of the community,” McGinn said. “But we really couldn’t do it without the support of borough council, the police department, the fire department or public works.”
The Chili Cookoff has also added a Family Fun Zone to the event to make it even more family friendly.
“We’re going to have it set up in the Wells Fargo parking lot,” McGinn said. “There will be a five dollar admission fee, and it will be filed with all kinds of inflatables.”
McGinn said that Comcast is also providing a widescreen T.V. at the intersection of Gay and Church Street that will have the Eagles game on.
“The event is a great time,” McGinn said. “People should come out and eat chili and feel like their doing something good for their community. Besides, nothing smells better than Gay Street the day of the Chili Cookoff.”
For more information on the cookoff please visit http://www.westchesterchilicookoff.com/.