The Wichita Wagonmasters' will once again host the annual Downtown Chili Cookoff this weekend. Taking place on September 24, this is one of the biggest events of the year, and the only fundraiser hosted by the Wagonmasters, the Chili Cookoff celebrates its 33rd year in Wichita, and its 12th year with the Wagonmasters.
This year, nearly 70 teams will compete for the best chili in Wichita! Nearly $9,000 will be given away in prizes, for competition in categories of People’s Choice, No Beans, Green and Red, as well as a Salsa competition.
Three on-stage, public competitions will take place at the event, including Mr. Hot Stuff, Mrs. Chili Pepper, and a chili pepper eating contest.
The event will take place downtown. Public tasting begins at noon and will wrap up around 3-4 p.m. The event is open to the public, and tasting kits are available for $5. Kits can be purchased at the event or ahead of time at Wichita Area QuikTrips.
"This year’s Potentate (ceremonial figurehead) for the event is Miss Kansas, Kendall Shoenekase and she will be singing the national anthem at the start of the event," Said Kevin Steckley of the Wagonmasters.
The Kids Zone returns to the Chili Cookoff this year, highlighting several games and a Touch-a-Truck event. Touch-a-Truck will include a fire truck, concrete truck, police cruiser, school bus, and a mini ice cream truck from which Highland will be giving kids ice cream.
"So far, we’ve raised $42,000 in corporate sponsorships, which is a record high," Steckley Said.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wagonmasters Good Life Grants via the Wichita Community Foundation.