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South Carolina Chili Cookoff Championships

Apr 22 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


South Carolina Chili Cookoff Championship

What could be more exciting than a beautiful spring day spent sampling the world’s best chili? You can enjoy this and more if you join us on Saturday, April 22, in Belton for the 13th Annual SC State Chili Cook-off Championship, brought to you by Deals Galore.

Whether you want to sample the amazing culinary talents of champion chili cooks from around the nation or you try your hand at competing yourself, the SC State Chili Cook off Championship is waiting for you!

“We have 28 professional cooks signed up right now and are looking for more amateur competitors in the individual and organizational categories,” said co-chairman Gene Jameson.  “It’s always fun to see this side of the competition heat up.”

Cooks in the professional arena can compete in four categories: traditional red, homestyle, chili verde, and salsa. Amateur cooks, both individual and organizations, can compete in People’s Choice and Amateur Homestyle competitions.

Great cash prizes and distinctive trophies are awarded to winners. And best of all, professional winners qualify for the International Chili Society World Championship!

Or, if you just love a good chili, no matter what kind, come buy a tasting ticket packet (5 tickets for $5) or band (unlimited tastes for $15) so you can sample the best chili around. With your tickets or band, you can expect the chance to sample from among at least 30 varied chili recipes.  Come between the peak hours of 11:30 and 2 and look for the balloons and cast your vote for your favorite.

“Listen to Rock 101, WESC, and WSSL in the next two weeks for your chance to win tasting bands,” said committee member Alison Darby.

Proceeds  from the band and ticket sales benefit five non-profits in our town who provide quality of life and emergency services for our community including the Belton Alliance, the Belton Area Museum Association, the Belton Center for the Arts, the Belton Interfaith Ministries Association, and the Belton Masonic Lodge #130-Christmas for Kids program.

“If you would like to be a judge, we are always looking for people with great taste buds,” added Jameson.

“Email [email protected] to offer your services and we will get back with you about times and categories to judge,” he added.

In addition to the great chili, entertainment and fun abounds, as visitors can view extraordinary artwork at the Belton Center for the Arts and experience the history of our area at the Belton Area Museum Association. There are activities for all ages, flower and plant sales by BHP FFA, great crafters and food vendors, and fun for the entire family.

A cruise-in  from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm will be featured down North Main Street.  Everyone who is an auto aficionado is invited to participate and the event will show off all types of sports cars and vintage vehicles.  For more information, contact Steve Lingerfelt at [email protected] or 864-303-6444.

“And if you want to feel good, donate some blood for disaster victims,” said Lori Maness, committee member.

OneBlood will be onsite from 10 am – 5 pm taking donations.  Everyone who donates will receive a gift card and signature t-shirt. Pre-registration can be done at their website or just walk in the day of with your ID.

Miss SC Jill Dudley  is slated to make an appearance along with our local beauties who will be serving as  official ambassadors of the event.   And for your entertainment, The Combo Kings will take the stage and play all types of music throughout the day that will get you up and dancing in the street.

All these activities are brought to the public thanks to our many sponsors.

“We truly appreciate Deals Galore enough for being this year’s  Presenting Habanero Sponsor this year,” stated committee member Sam Gilmer.  “Check out their deals at their newly updated location in Williamston on Beaverdam Road.”

Additional sponsors include Charleston Hot Pepper Sponsors (City of Belton HTAX, Anderson County Council-Greg Elgin, Anderson County ATAX, Richard and Mayor Eleanor Dorn, the Combo Kings), Cayenne Sponsors (Audacy, I Heart Radio, Clinkscales Chevrolet, Jameson Woodworks, LeadEC, Maynard’s of Belton), Jalapeno Sponsors (Palmetto Insurance-Keys Agency, First Quality, Sam Gilmer Photography, Anderson Magazine, Electric City News), and Poblano Sponsors (Belton Tire Company, Creative Grants, Commercial Bank, Earth Materials Grading, Edward Jones, News Chronicle, Senator Mike Gambrell, Representative Jay West, South State Bank, Whimsical Wonders, AnMed Health, UPS Store,  Arc3, A and D Auto Sales, and State Farm-Amanda Thompson Agency).

There are two pre-festival events planned in addition to the weekend competition.  On Saturday, April 15, the Chili Pepper Pageant is being held at Watkins Community Center in Honea Path. Contestants from newborn to college age are being sought.  Prizes and recognitions are planned for six winner categories and in each of the 7 age divisions.  The $70 registration fee is due by April 10.    Please contact Melissa Brannon at [email protected]  for more information.

On Friday, April 21, the BAMA Chili Pepper Golf Tourney will be held at Saluda Valley Country Club with a 1:30 pm shotgun start.  Limited to 15 teams, this event offers tons of great prizes to winners in several categories as well as gifts for all golfers.  For more information or to register to play, contact Abigail Burden at 864-338-7400 or by email at [email protected].

The day after the festival, professional cooks will be participating in the Kegs-N- Eggs competition at the Belton Recreation Center on Blue Ridge Avenue on Sunday from 8:30 AM – 2 PM.  Spectators are welcome, but no sampling is available.

“Judges are needed for this day too,” said committee co-chair Eleanor Dorn.

For more information or to apply to be a professional or amateur competitor, please visit our website at www.scchilicookoff.com.

Mark your calendars now for competing, eating, and enjoying down-home hospitality at the SC

State Chili Cook-off Championship!  Come on down to Belton and light those fires!

Chili eating contestSteering the potCrowds enjoying the chili tastingChili cooksMembers of the Belton Fire Department


Apr 22
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Belton City Square
Main Street
Belton, SC 29627 United States
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