Annual event is just one month away

It’s time to gather your kidney beans, chop your meat and onions and mix your seasonings. The 34th annual Havelock Chili Festival is just a month away.

Havelock’s biggest annual fundraiser, sponsored by the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, and made possible by a legion of volunteers, is scheduled for Oct. 16 and 17 at Walter B. Jones Park. Vendors and cooks are being sought to participate.

“The Chili Festival is a community and family friendly event, benefiting the Havelock community in a number of ways,” said Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock chamber. “If you have ever wanted to get involved and give back in a fun way, participating in the chili competition or having a vendor booth in the Havelock Chili Festival is a great way to do so.”

The chicken wing competition is Oct. 16, while competitions in red chili, chili verde and salsa are set for Oct. 17. Plenty of entertainment and activities are mixed in with the food.

“I want this year to be the best festival yet,” Duncan said. “My goal is to raise the most money to donate to our nonprofit organizations.”

Duncan said activities on Oct. 17 have been extended to 9 p.m.

“We’re hoping to bring more people to the festival and give more value to our vendors,” she said.

Prospective cooks are required to be current International Chili Society members, but cooks doing just the wing competition do not have to meet this requirement. Non-members can join the ICS by including the $50 membership dues with their festival application.

Winners in the chili and salsa competitions will be eligible to advance to the World Championship Chili Cook Off in 2016 with the title of North Carolina State Champion.

Applications forms are available online at www.havelockchamber.org or www.chilifestival.org. Both forms have to be turned in with fees by Oct. 1 to The Havelock Chili Festival, P.O. Box 21, Havelock, N.C. 28532.

For more information contact Cliff Grebe, cookoff chairman, at cgrebe@ec.rr.com or call the chamber at 447-1101. For a detailed list of fees, rules and other information, go online to http://chilifestival.org/?page_id=407.