36th annual Chili Cookoff Sunday

The weather this weekend may be on the cold side, but visitors to the Fort Museum and Frontier Village on Sunday will have the chance to warm up with a bowl of chili at the 36th annual Chili Cookoff.

Sponsored by the Fort Dodge Chili Lovers Society, the event will feature about a dozen cooks showing their chili cooking skills and having audience members taste test them.

There is a $5 fee for those who wish to attend.

Justin Goodno, president of the Fort Dodge Chili Lovers Society, said new to this year’s cookoff is the addition of vendors and the University of Iowa Museum bus.

“They’re going to set up and let people tour,” Goodno said. “It’s pretty cool.”

The chili cooks will be starting their day bright and early when they start cooking their chili at 6 a.m.

“They’ll pick their spots and start working on their chili,” Goodno said. “Then we’ll do a skit competition out there and we will do a salsa competition and then we’ll start selling bowls at 2.”

Ballots will be counted at 3:30 or 4 p.m., with the trophies and prizes being presented not long afterward.

In addition to the chili and salsa competitions, Goodno said this year will feature a chili speed-eating contest.

He added that they’ve had “a number of cooks” sign up so far. He’d like to see around 12 or 14.

“There’s lots of chili to be eaten,” he said.

And those who are interested can sign up until the day of the competition. Chili cooks who want to sign up can call Goodno at 570-6162.

He added they can also contact him via the Fort Dodge Chili Lovers page on Facebook.

Everybody involved in the competition is looking forward to it, especially the dedicated volunteers, Goodno said.

“We have a lot of fun with that,” he said. “And everybody’s looking forward again this year.”