BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Fall-like temperatures are starting to settle into St. Louis, setting up perfect chili-eating weather for the 29th Annual Belleville Chili Cook-Off this weekend.
The two-day tradition runs through 10 p.m. Friday, then resumes from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Event organizers want the wind to die down a bit, but otherwise, they are thrilled with the forecast. After all, it’s hard to find someone who wants to eat a bunch of chili when it’s almost 90 degrees.
The cook-off consists of more than 40 vendors, either representing nonprofit organizations or charity-raising businesses. Organizers estimate the cook-off generates around $100,000 back into the Belleville community.
Not only is there chili, but also entertainment and other festivities.
“It is literally a homecoming for people,” said Wendy Pfeil, President & CEO of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce. “Families come out for it. Families have family coming in from everywhere. It’s like a Belleville tradition.”
Pfeil says she is expecting some visitors from as far as California. There are also some class reunions that happen during the cook-off.
“It’s just all about community spirit and giving back,” said Pfeil. “Everyone just comes out to have a great time.”
In addition to the cook-off, there is also the 10th Annual Chili Chase 5k Run/Walk and Kids Pepper Dash on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.