The U.S. Open Chili Championship & Big Rocks BBQ Cook-Off will take place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Oakdale Park.
“The U.S. Open is one of the five biggest cook-offs held in the United States and that is what they call a moving cook-off, meaning it has to go to a different place every year,” event promoter Donna Conrad said. “We had it two years ago and then it moved to Mexico last year, and this year we have it back at Oakdale Park.”
The chili entry fee is $35, the BBQ entry fee is $150 and the bean entry fee is $10.
The winner of the cook-off will receive bragging rights and a chair.
An organization called CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) holds chili cook-offs where the chili cookers earn points to be able to cook in the international chili competition in November. The proceeds from the U.S. Open cook-off will go toward the Somervell Cancer Support Group.
“All of these cook-offs are exciting,” Conrad said. “There’s not any of them that are different than any other because we do these cook-offs for charity.”
The event will also feature a raffle for a 55-inch Samsung TV along with a silent auction.
“We just need everybody to come out and support,” Conrad added.
Judging is free and individuals need to be at least 18 years or older to participate.
Approximately 200 cooks are expected to compete in the cook-off so at least 150 judges are needed.
“We need judges, judges and more judges,” Conrad said with a laugh.
To sign up to be a judge, visit https://forms.gle/vyBBmDriThkag55EA and fill out the form.