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ChiliFest 2011 heats up downtown Huntington

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — WSAZ NewsChannel 3 and Chili Willi’s Mexican Cantina present the 28th Annual Original ChiliFest Saturday in downtown Huntington on Third Avenue at Pullman Square.

The streets of Huntington will fill with “chili heads” as the winner of this “much heated” event qualifies to represent West Virginia at the ICS (International Chili Society) World’s Chili Championship in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. Cooks come from far and wide to downtown Huntington, with their pots, spices, secret ingredients and chili lore for this annual spirited competition.

Live entertainment will be provided by Wilson Creek and Buffetman. Other contests and events throughout the day include, People’s Choice Award, Best Salsa, Chili Verde Contest, Hot Pepper Eating Contest, Beer Drinking Contest and the Shoot n’ Holler Contest. The Kids Corner features games, inflatables and other wholesome activities.

A raffle will be held benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Huntington for a brand new Toyota Camry LE from Advantage Toyota. Raffle tickets will be sold at ChiliFest, with the winning ticket chosen live at 6 p.m. Winner does not need to be present to win.

In conjunction with ChiliFest, the Prestera Center, as part of National Addictions Recovery Month, will hold the “Race for Recovery” 5k run and walk Saturday behind Pullman Square on Veterans Memorial Blvd. to help raise awareness about the disease of addiction.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Veterans Memorial Boulevard at Ninth Street and the 5k race begins at 9 with the walk beginning at 9:05 a.m.

ChiliFest is a charity cook-off, benefiting the Ronald McDonald House of Huntington.

Chili sample tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. ChiliFest begins at 11 a.m. and concludes at 6 p.m. with the announcement of the winners and the live drawing for the Toyota Camry LE.

ChiliFest is sponsored by WSAZ NewsChannel 3, Chili Willi’s Mexican Cantina, Cabell Huntington Children’s Hospital, Coca-Cola, Fifth/Third Bank and West Virginia Lottery.