It’s a chili free-for-all!
Throughout the morning and early afternoon, anticipation of the public chili tasting grows with the grill smoke and mouth-watering aromas that fill the air.
When the clock hits 3 p.m. and the band on stage takes a short break, crowds gather round to receive a tasting cup and spoon for the public chili tasting, along with a ballot for the People’s Choice Chili award.
Then, the masses descend on the 50+ chili cooks, spoons and ballots in hand, ready to taste and crown the People’s Choice Chili winner.
What is the public chili tasting?
The public chili tasting is the public’s chance to taste all the great chili lovingly cooked all day by the contestants. Each contestant is required to make two (2) or more gallons of chili to share with the crowd. Attendees can taste as many samples as they like, while supplies last.
After the tasting, People’s Choice ballots can be returned to the collection box near the Main Stage. Votes are tabulated and winners announced from the Main Stage at 6:45 p.m.View the list of past winners
Tips from a Chilimania pro
If you want to sample a lot of chili, make sure you are on the Chilimania grounds by 2:30 p.m. at the latest. Lines at the admission gates grow longer as the public tasting nears, so arrive early to beat the rush.
Packets containing a spoon, tasting cup, and ballot are distributed throughout the grounds — near the main stage, near the Fulton & Henry Street gate, and in-between as quantities allow.
Once the tasting cups are distributed, you’ll need to move quickly through the booths, as the chili generally lasts between 60 and 90 minutes … or less if it is a popular booth!
Please be advised…
Chilimania does not guarantee that you’ll be able to taste all the samples, but if you follow this advice you’ll walk away with a full stomach and perhaps a slight case of heartburn!