The annual Harvey County United Way Chili Cook-off will serve up bowls of fall fun on Sept. 24th to benefit the local United Way.
Sixth and Main – Downtown Newton, Ks
The United Way will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event with a new logo, commemorative T-shirts and the Red Hot Chili Pepper 5K race in the morning. Gates will be open for the chili cook-off from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on September 24th at the corner of Sixth and Main streets in downtown Newton. Ticket holders will receive a bowl to use during the event to sample the various chili creations offered by participating groups. The event typically draws more than two dozen organizations and businesses to serve an array of chili varieties.
Tickets are available in advance for $5 at Prairie Harvest, the United Way office and Ameriprise Financial in downtown Newton. Tickets will also be available at the gate for $6.
All participants in the Red Hot Chili Pepper race will receive a ticket to the chili cook-off as part of their registration fee, which is $30 in advance and includes the ticket, T-shirt and a finishers’ medal.
Chili makers will compete against each other for two awards: The Pride of the Prairie, determined by cook-off judges, and The People’s Choice, a tally of cash votes at each competitor which are donated to United Way. While some competitors enter just to win a coveted award, others enter for the opportunity to engage the public about their organization or business.
More than 1,000 people attend the event each year!
“The Chili Cook-off is compelling,” said Tina Payne, Harvey County United Way Executive Director. “A thousand plus people, coming together in two hours in a couple of blocks on a Saturday morning. People bump into each other and say, ‘Hey, I didn’t know you were involved in this organization, church, business, etc.'” She explained, “We have a very caring, involved community. The relationships are there. The Chili Cook-Off gives people the chance network, engage, and learn in a fun-filled way.”
Attendees are encouraged to bring a little extra cash to use to vote for their favorite chili and the People’s Choice Award. Each booth will have a collection bucket for “votes.” Bottles of water will also be available for purchase inside the gates.
Along with the chili samples, the cook-off will feature music by the Stephens family and Newton High School drum line.
The Red Hot Chili Pepper 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at the corner of Fifth and Poplar streets near downtown Newton and in front of the Newton Recreation Center. Most of the 3.1-mile route will follow the scenic Sand Creek Bike Path before ending just a block away from the cook-off gate.
For younger runners and walkers, the Little Pepper 1K Fun Run will follow a portion of the 5K route. It begins at 9:30 a.m.
To entertain families between the races and the start of the cook-off, Carriage Factory Art Gallery will host Art in the Park, a free family art activity with five children’s art stations, a scavenger hunt and music from Newton Ukulele Tunes Society, from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 24th.
The art event will be held at Sixth and Oak streets and is free to the public.
For more information about the events or purchasing tickets, call the Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau at 316-284-3642.
For more information and pictures from previous Chili Cook-off Events, visit here.
Follow Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau on Facebook @VisitNewtonKs