Year after year, the Big Bear Chilli Cook-Off continues to draw crowds, whether cookers or tasters. Expect a crowd Saturday, July 13, when the pots of chili fill the Bartlett Events Center in the Village area of Big Bear Lake.

“The Big Bear Chili Cook-Off is one of the best run and best organized chili cook-offs in Southern California,” says last year’s People’s Choice award winner Cory Catalano. The International Chili Society World Qualifier event hosts more than 40 competing chefs. Which means there is a lot of chili to sample.

With gallons of chili waiting to be judged, be sure to arrive early and hop in line with fellow chili fanatics. Chili categories include classic red, chili verde, veggie and youth red. That doesn’t limit the endless variations of chili to be found at this year’s cook-off, some spicy and others mild.

Purchase a tasking kit to vote for the Big Bear People’s Choice “Traveling Bear” award. Admission is free. Tasting kits are $5 to taste a dozen cooks’ samples.

The Chili Cook-Off is more than cups of chili and craft beer. Enjoy live music all day with The Doo Wah Riders, Born Country and South of Santa Fe. Kids can enjoy Bear Valley Farm’s Petting Zoo, an arts and crafts table and more.

The Chili Cook-off begins at 11 a.m. and gates close at 5 p.m. Chili tasting and voting end at 3 p.m. The Bartlett Events Area is at 630 Bartlett Road, Big Bear Lake. For more information, visit www.bigbear.com.

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