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Annual chili festival to bring Middlebury street alive this Saturday

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Posted on March 10, 2016 |
By Addison Independent



Chili Fest.jpg
CHILI LOVERS CONVERGE on Middlebury’s Main Street during a past Vermont Chili Festival. This eighth annual festival — featuring over 50 kinds of chili — is this Saturday, March 12, starting at 1 p.m. Independent file photo/John S. McCright

MIDDLEBURY — This Saturday, March 12, downtown Middlebury will close its streets to welcome thousands of visitors to the eighth annual Vermont Chili Festival.

Beginning at 1 p.m., this popular event offers a festive party-like atmosphere with street performers, music, two after-parties and over 50 different kinds of chili to sample and enjoy. The entry fee to the event is $7 at the gate or $5 in advance online at vtchilifest.com. Children ages 8 and under are admitted for free.

A panel of guest judges will determine best and runner-up in each of the six categories: chicken, beef, pork, game, veggie and kitchen sink. The judges will also be deciding the overall third-, second- and first-place chilies. All winners will receive cash prizes, including $1,000 for the champion.

Festivalgoers will also get to vote for their favorite chili, as well as for the booth they think is most creative. The winners of the “People’s Choice” and “Best Booth” awards will also receive cash prizes.

Winners will be announced at the festival stage at 4 p.m. From there, everyone is invited to two different after-parties, happening at 51 Main and Two Brothers Lounge. Both parties are free and will feature many local drink specials and live music from BandAnna (51 Main) and The Horse Traders (Two Brothers).

Proceeds from the Chili Fest will benefit the community-building efforts of the Better Middlebury Partnership. Visit ExperienceMiddlebury.com to learn more about the Better Middlebury Partnership and other events they host throughout the year. 

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