BECKLEY, W.Va. — The City of Beckley’s annual Chili Night takes place on Oct. 6th in and around the city’s Intermodal Gateway on Leslie C. Gates Place.
The event features panels of celebrity judges selecting their favorite chili in several categories. Organizer Jill Moorefield told MetroNews affiliate WJLS she wanted newcomers to know that they can be a part of the judging, as well, by casting their votes for the Peoples’ Choice of Best Chili, while enjoying various family entertainment venues along the streets of downtown Beckley
“You get five sample voting tickets and a People’s Choice voting coin (with the purchase of admission). We have three stages of entertainment, seven different groups that’ll be performing, and we have 51 chili vendors and about 80 other booths that’ll be set up,” said Moorefield.
Moore, who has been part of the annual event since it’s inception, said she remembers quite well the humble beginnings of Chili Night, 28 years ago.
“The first year, we had 400 people, it was in the parking lot which is now the federal building plaza area….and we just had someone make chili. we didn’t have a competition. We didn’t add the competition until a few years later. I think the first year we had a competition, we had ten enter,” she said.
This year’s Chili Night is expected to attract thousands of people. The organizing committee requested that attendees not bring pets, skateboards or coolers to the event. Police encouraged parents with children under the age of 15 to accompany their children during the event. Four ticket booths will be located along Neville & Main Streets on Saturday from 5 pm until 7:30 pm. More information is available at www.beckley.org.