The Second Annual Historic Hillsville’s Chili Shootout will be held in the lot located behind the Historic Carroll County Courthouse on October 1.
The event will feature a chili competition and tasting, corn-hole tournament, salsa competition, cornbread contest, and artisans with items available for purchase. The chili shootout is sanctioned by the International Chili Society.
“We are excited to have Historic Hillsville’s Chili Shootout sanctioned by the International Chili Society, which is one of the largest food festival organizations in the world,” said Event Coordinator Ammie Shupe. “Cookoffs just like this one have enabled the ICS to raise over a million dollars annually for charity.”
Single-day tasting armbands to the chili shootout will be available at the gate for $5. The ICS-sanctioned contest includes four chili categories – homestyle, verde, salsa and traditional red in the pro division. There will also be an open chili category for public entry which will have winners of People’s Choice and Judge’s Pick.
Shupe said this year’s shootout looks to sign up 10 professional teams, which would add up to $3,000 divided among the pros in categories they participate in. The salsa category is a new addition to this year’s event after pros last year expressed an interest in the category. The cornbread contest, although informal, also proved popular. Friends of organizers also pressed for a cornhole tournament, which has been added this year.
The tourney has been tentatively slated 45 minutes after the official Chili tasting (which is set for 4 p.m.). The entrance fee for the tournament is $10 per team if registered by September 1. (It is $15 after that date.) The event is limited to 30 teams. The number of teams will determine the prize money with the winning team getting 25 percent, second place 15 percent and five percent to third place.
“Cornbread is a fun competition. There is no entry fee and it’s just for bragging rights,” Shupe said. She said last year she and Greg Talley shared the duties required to make the shootout run smooth. Although Shupe has taken over the reins, Talley will continue to assist.
For more information on Historic Hillsville’s Chili Shootout, please visit its Facebook page www.facebook.com/Historic-Hillsvilles-Chili-Shootout-1599001080375261/ or contact Ammie Shupe at 276-733-3062.
“We want it to be fun. We’re trying to have something to really bring everyone out,” said Shupe. “We moved it up three weeks from last year’s date and are hoping for more warmth. Last year we ran out of chili pretty fast, even with it being just a taste, so we are encouraging teams to make more chili this year.” She said local band “Stagecoach” will perform at the shootout with various deejays spinning tunes throughout the day.
Shupe said organizers are still looking for more chili teams and more artisans and are encouraging everyone to sign up early. She praised sponsors Jeff Johnson Chevrolet, McGrady & McGrady LLP, Ideal Florist and Auto Alignment of Hillsville.
“We are still looking for sponsors,” Shupe said. “It costs to stage something like this which offers so many free activities.”
Founded in 1967, the International Chili Society is an organization that sanctions nearly 200 chili cook-offs each year that are governed by ICS rules and regulations and a blind judging process. These events are worldwide and benefit charities or non-profit organizations.
Local winners of ICS-sanctioned cook-offs qualify to compete for cash prizes and awards throughout the year. Top-level winners compete for a total prize package of $55,000 at the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff held each year in October. One million spectators a year participate in ICS events by cooking, tasting, judging, and having a good time. Sanctioned cook-offs include four categories: Traditional Red Chili, Chili Verde (green chili), Homestyle, and Salsa. The ICS crowns a World Champion in each category.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.