The fourth annual Downtown Hoedown and Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge takes place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. Attendees can pay $5 for unlimited samples.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
If you go
What: Fourth annual Downtown Hoedown and Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge
When: Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Eighth Street, between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street
Cost: Admission is free; a taster kit that includes a cup, spoon and unlimited samples is $5
Call: Tracy Barnett at 846-1800
Steamboat Springs In its fourth year, the Downtown Hoedown and Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge has built up some rivalries.
"They have a great time teasing each other and trying to see to who's going to win this year," said Barb Vargas, an organizer for the Mainstreet Steamboat Springs event.
Vargas tagged Charlie Noble and Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, winners of the people's choice award the past two years, as a key contender. She picked George Trujillo - frequent green chili winner at the Great North Routt Chili Cook-Off and winner in the Downtown Hoedown green and firehouse chili categories in 2007 and people's choice in 2006 - as tough competition for Mahogany Ridge.
The fourth annual Downtown Hoedown and Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge is from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday on Eighth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street. Admission is free, and taster kits are $5.
Contestants compete in red, green, firehouse and other chili categories; salsa and cornbread competitions are newer to the event, having made their first appearance in 2008. The playing field includes teams from local institutions such as Rex's American Grill & Bar, Creekside Cafe, Rockin' J Cattle and Yampa Valley Medical Center, along with plenty of home cooks and chili connoisseurs, Vargas said.
The event is a week earlier this year than it has been in the past. Tracy Barnett, manager of Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, said event organizers changed the date so the Downtown Hoedown would coincide with Mainstreet's Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sale and other Labor Day weekend events. Organizers moved the Chili Challenge from its original location in Little Toots Park for a similar reason, Vargas said.
"It's a Mainstreet event, and we moved it downtown to work more with some of the stuff that's going on downtown, like the sidewalk sale," she said.
Tread of Pioneers Museum will be open during the Chili Challenge, and museum representatives will be on hand to help with children's games, Vargas said. Local Boy Scouts will host their Meadow Muffin Plop fundraiser and sell grilled food; Mahogany Ridge and Pioneer Spirits will sell beer; additional food vendors will be on hand; and Cantina will sell margaritas.