Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.
Summer of 2023 has officially ended with Labor Day last week, but warm temperatures remain in the Huntington Tri-State metro. The evenings will soon be getting cooler though and for many people, that means the return of pumpkin spice season, but for many others, it means chili season.
Whether you like your chili with beans or without, or whether you like it mild, spicy, or hotter than the Devil’s pepper patch, you’ll be able to get your fill on October 14, 2023 as ChiliFest returns to Pullman Square for its 39th year.
Individual chefs and chili-cooking teams from all over West Virginia will vie for the bragging rights of making the best chili in the state in 2023. Sanctioned and judged by the International Chili Society (ICS), there will be four categories: Traditional Red Chili, Chili Verdi, Homestyle Chili, and Salsa. The winners will represent WV at the ICS World Championship Chili Cook-Off.
The fun will begin at noon on Saturday, October 12, 2023 at Pullman Square and the 900 block of 3rdAvenue in downtown Huntington. There will be live music and contests throughout the day on the Pullman Square stage, a “Kids Corner” with inflatables and games, and non-chili food and drink vendors.
All chili sample tickets are $1 each or six for $5. All proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Huntington. To date, ChiliFest has raised more than $600,000 for that charity. The contest is only open to ICS members. Applicants can register and/or get more information at ChiliFestWV.com.