Thousand Oaks, CA
Children's entertainment, bingo, local and regional
The Thousand Oaks Chili Cook-Off is a regional event on the International Chili Society tour. The winner advances directly to the World Championships to compete against the best. The thousand Oaks Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Rotary club of Thousand Oaks, has been held every year since 1977. It began as a fundraiser, started by the Chamber of Commerce.
In 1983, the Chili Cook-Off moved to its present location where Janns road meets the 23 Freeway, and usually takes place the Sunday before the Conejo Valley Days festival opening. Sponsorship of the event was officially taken over by Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks and today, more than 170 volunteers coordinate and work at the event. The Chili-Cook-Off attracts thousands of visitors each year. The proceeds are returned to the community through the many programs sponsored by the Rotary club of Thousand Oaks.
Chili Cook-Off visitors have the opportunity to taste more than 75 different types of chili during "cooking time." In fact, visitors "vote" to determine the winners of the "People's Choice" chili championships. A group of local judges determines the winners of the "Best Booth" and "Showmanship" contests. The main chili judging is performed by a panel of International Chili Society members/cooks along with local dignitaries, some of whom have served on the panel for years. However, the day does not revolve around chili alone. Local service clubs and other food choices and there, as well as hands-on exhibits by the Fire Department, DARE and the Marine Corps. Entertainment is featured throughout the day.