Breckenridge Texan

Trade Days to feature chili cook-off, Santa pictures

Trade Days to feature chili cook-off, Santa pictures
December 01
11:06 2017

The December Breck Trade Days, scheduled for Dec. 15-16, will feature the city’s inaugural Chili Cook-Off, as well as an opportunity for pictures with Santa.

There is no fee to enter the Chili Cook-Off, and the top three winners will receive engraved wooden cutting boards, in addition to bragging rights. Additionally, the “People’s Choice” winner will receive a Chili Cook-Off apron.

The deadline for registering for the cook-off is Monday, Dec. 11. The event will open to the cooks at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, and judging will begin at 11 a.m. The contestants must make at least two gallons of chili, providing tastes for the judges and to the general public who will be voting on the People’s Choice award. Additionally, contestants may give away or sell bowls of chili during Breck Trade Days.

“We have a set of rules…you have to cook everything on site, and there can’t be any fillers. This is Texas chili – you can’t add beans or hominy or corn or anything like that,” said Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion. “You can add different spices and all that kind of stuff. You can use whatever kind of meat you want. You just can’t cook it at home and bring it; you have to cook it on site.”

McCuistion said the City and Chamber are hosting the event to encourage more people to visit Trade Days. “If you have events that are centered around food and entertainment, usually you draw a lot more people in,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we have other functions happening at the same days as Trade Days, like (in October), we had the bike ride. At different times over the past year or two, we’ve had soccer tournaments or kick-ball tournaments.”

The Chili Cook-Off may be entered by individuals or teams, which can include groups of friends, co-workers, club members, etc. The entries will be judged on aroma, consistency, red color, taste and aftertaste.

The complete list of official rules is available at the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce office, 100 E. Elm St., as well as on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

McCuistion said that, at this time, the cook-off is not sanctioned by any of the chili organizations, but that could happen in the future if interest in the event grows.

Rhonda Crawford, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said that they’re hoping for 10 teams to enter the contest this year. “We can take more, but that’s our goal,” she said.

In addition to offering the Chili Cook-Off, this month’s Breck Trade Days will feature an opportunity for free pictures with Santa from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Trade Days barn, located at South Dunnigan Avenue and East Hullum Street in the Breckenridge City Park.


Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown

Cutline: The top three winners in the chili cook-off will receive wooden cutting boards featuring the logo. (Photo courtesy of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce)

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