On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Hope Mills Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Chili Cook- Off. Once part of Ole Mill Days, this year, the Hope Mills Chamber decided to partner with Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market, WKML, Heroes Homecoming and The Lone Survivor Foundation to make this event even better.
“We wanted to change the venue because of the date, mainly,” said Hope Mills Chamber President Jessica Seagroves. “Last year, it was so hot we were sunburnt when we left Ole Mill Days! We wanted more ‘chili appropriate’ weather. October in North Carolina? It’s still 90 degrees outside sometimes.
“We wanted to partner with Dirtbag Ales to add a fun change to the chili cook-off. This is our second year serving on the Heroes Homecoming committee, and I felt that if we were able to get everyone together for this event, it would be a better event for the veterans and our community.”
Locals who have not been to a Hope Mills Area Chamber Chili Cook-Off in the past are missing out. Chili enthusiasts from all over the area bring their best dishes for a chance to win one of eight cash prizes. There are hot and mild categories, which will have three different winners for each category. There will also be a veteran’s choice winner and a people’s choice winner.
Not only will there be cash prizes for the best chilis, a cornhole tournament has been added as well. Teams can pre-register or register the day of. There will be a cash prize awarded to the winner. The cornhole tournament starts at 2 p.m.
The event is scheduled to coincide with Veterans Day. A tent to include live music, food and swag bags will be set up for veterans. Veterans eat free at the event, and there will be several veteran-focused groups in attendance that exist to serve our military community better.
“We wanted to find a way to make this more for the members of our community, and a vast majority of those are veterans,” Seagroves explained. “We wanted to show our support of the men and women who have gone above and beyond for our community. I really love Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market and how much they support the veterans. That made it a natural transition to partner with Lone Survivor Foundation for the chili cook-off and to focus on the veterans in our community. It all came together to make a great event.”
This event is ideal for the entire family. In addition to the Chili Cook-Off, cornhole tournament and various vendors, there will be a bounce house for children as well as face painting, live music and local food trucks. Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market also includes a dog park and a playground.
If you would like to submit a chili for the event, email the Hope Mills Chamber at hmacc@ hopemillschamber.org or call 910-423-4314. The cost to register is $15. All entries are welcome. Vendor spots are still available as well.
Tickets will be available the day of the event and are offered at several levels. It’s $10 to taste each chill or $5 for one bowl of chili. The $20 VIP bands include chili tasting, a bowl of chili and specialty beverage. Veteran bands are free and include chili, food and drink in the VIP tent. Additional beverages (non-alcoholic) are one dollar.
The event runs from 1-5 p.m. and will take place at 5435 Corporation Dr. in Hope Mills. Call 910-423- 4314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.