Local News: Chili fest heats up the square (7/16/20)


Nearly 20 cooks, from the midwest to the southeastern U.S., traveled to the Shelbyville square to compete in the Southern Summer Chili Days festival over the weekend. The event was held on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. 

T-G Photo by Chris Siers

The only thing hotter than the different types of chili in the Southern Summer Chili Days festival over the weekend were the blazing summer temperatures.

Even with the mercury rising, contestants and locals ventured to the Shelbyville town square on Friday evening and Saturday to participate in the festival.

On top of braving the summer temperatures, cooks and festival goers alike attended in spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Car enthusiasts packed the Shelbyville square, showing off the extra horsepower of several hot rods during the cruise-in on Friday evening.

T-G Photo by Chris Siers

In addition to the main event featuring top-made chili from around the country, Friday night also hosted an informal car cruise-in, featuring classic cars and trucks for attendees to peruse.

While the numbers were down from a year ago, local event organizer Calvin Cannon said the cookoff was a great success. “With cooks, it was great. We had 20 cooks come in this year. That’s basically half of what we had last year, which was our biggest year with 44,” he said.

Cooks spanning from all over the mid-west and the deep south made the trek to the competition, which was one of the first cook offs this year.

The owner of this rat rod allowed attendees to sign their names to the truck’s exterior. 

T-G Photo by Chris Siers

“This was a success. We learned a lot this year. We’re one of the first chili cook offs this year,” Cannon said.

On Friday night, the cooks competed in the Southeastern International Chili Society Regional Cookoff and followed with the Chili Appreciation Society International’s cookoff on Saturday.

The two competitions are run by different governing bodies, allowing cooks more opportunity to compete with…



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