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Beach n’ Chili Fest returns to Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Beach ‘n Chili Fest returns to the Grand Strand this September, the organizers announced on Monday.

The 55th Annual World Chili Cook-off Championship (WCCC) will take place September 23-25, 2022 at Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion Place.

“We are thrilled to have the World Championship Chili Cook-off again this year. The Beach ‘n Chili Fest theme is perfect, as Myrtle Beach allows locals and out-of-town guests alike to bathe with the best” said Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber and CVB.

Although this is the 55th year of the contest, it is only the second year that the cooking contest and festival have been held in Myrtle Beach.

“Even if you don’t immediately think of chili when you think of going to the beach, we proved last year that the two go extremely well together. Thousands of people came out to enjoy our festivities, and we’re adding even more fun to the calendar this year,” said Mike McCloud, Beach ‘n Chili Fest Organizer and President and CEO of International Chili. Society (ICS).

The Beach ‘n Chili Fest will feature three full days of entertainment, including vintage car displays, stage shows, demonstrations and hundreds of chili flavors and recipes.

After winning local events across America, more than 200 professional chili cooks will gather in Myrtle Beach to try to be crowned among the best for this season.

Festival attendees will help choose the winner through countless tasting sessions and audience choice programs.

This annual competition of champions was created by the International Chili Society (ICS), which was formed in 1967 by a group of like-minded friends in Texas. One of those friends was legendary racing driver and automotive designer Carroll Shelby.

According to event organizers, attendance last year topped 18,000 and is expected to top 20,000 this year, making it a big tourist attraction for the Grand Strand.

One of last year’s iconic attractions will be featured again this year, as Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from sitcom ‘The Office’) returns to center stage for a demo and book signing for his ” Seriously Good Chili Cookbook”, which will be released just in time for the event.

Admission to the event is free, but you can purchase tickets to upgrade your experience and sample championship chili at eatgreatchili.com.

“Chili is one of the most sought after foods in America. That plus the beach, plus the car shows, plus the great live music…what else can you think of to have a good time?” McCloud said.

EVENTS

Sampling and evaluation of peppers chosen by the public

Looking to sample world championship award winning chili? By participating in People’s Choice Judging, you can put your palate to the test. Try tastings from five of our competition teams and vote for your favorite. The team with the most PC votes will be crowned the People’s Choice winner. Think you can handle more than five samples? No problem, participants can buy as many tasting tickets as their appetites require.

Judge the PROs

Want to take your level of chili judging to the professional level? Take the Certified Chili Judge (CCJ) class and learn the ins and outs of championship chili judging. Not only will you walk away with a new appreciation for chili, but you’ll also be eligible to judge one of the Pro categories at WCCC.

VIP lounge

Enhance your “chilihead” experience in the WCCC VIP Lounge. Take a break from the Myrtle Beach heat and enjoy complimentary tastings and cold beverages from the private cash bar, all under a shaded outdoor lounge.

Community Cup Chile Challenge

In cooperation with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, WCCC will host its 2nd annual Community Cup Challenge, a charity event that will involve up to 25 local businesses and feature a public choice judging process. The grand prize will be $2,500, along with $1,000 for second place and $500 for third – all going to the winning team’s chosen charity. Buy People’s Choice tasting tickets to vote.

Fire station chili challenge

Visit 10 different fire stations and you’ll likely find 10 different chili recipes, all claiming to be the best. But, who really IS the best? We bring them to you so you can be the judge! Purchase People’s Choice tasting tickets to try unique versions of this firehouse favorite as ten teams from ten states compete for top honors.

Family fun area

WCCC’s Family Fun Zone is perfect for all Grand Strand families. From competitive food games and prizes to volleyball tournaments, the exciting Family Fun Zone will have something for kids of all ages, and it’s FREE!

beer garden

From craft beer to domestic brews, this is the place to chase down all that good chili with good beers. After a day full of chili tastings, sit back and enjoy the good vibes, cool tunes, and great company at Beach ‘n Chili’s Beer Garden.

Shelby Auto Show

The founder of the International Chili Society, Carroll Shelby, was a man of many talents, including CHILI! Along with a few friends, designer Shelby Cobra developed the World Championship Chili Cook-off and changed chili history forever. The 55th Annual WCCC will pay homage to one of its founding fathers with a Cobra Car Show that will delight all of our taste buds for quite a while!

main stage

The Main Stage will be bustling all weekend, with a full schedule of live entertainment. Come watch cooking demonstrations and get pro tips from chili experts. If you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, enter our very own Blazin’ Hot Challenge and see if you have what it takes to be the last man or woman standing. Stick around for daily musical acts, including Grand Strand favorites TruSol.

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