The 35th Rose City Chili Cookoff is coming this weekend. Competition will take place on Saturday and Sunday with public tasting available on Saturday.
Open registration runs from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Gander Mountain, 151 Market Square Blvd., and starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The public can start buying chili at 11 a.m. Saturday for a $3 donation. The donation includes a tasting cup, spoon and voting ballot.
Competitors' fees are $20 for the CASI chili entry, $10 for beans and $10 for junior chili (open to 7- to 17-year-olds only with adult supervision). CASI stands for Chili Appreciation Society International.
All chili competitors must follow CASI rules, which can be found on the organization's website. Bean entries must be turned in by noon Saturday. Junior chili must be turned in by 1 p.m. Saturday.
CASI chili must be turned in by 2 p.m. Organizers likely will start announcing winners at 5 p.m.
The showmanship competition runs from noon to 1 p.m., and judges will consider theme, costumes, booth decoration, action and audience appeal.
Judges will consider five criteria when eating chili: aroma, red color, consistency, taste and aftertaste.
Cook-off coordinator and head judge Blu Daniels said she describes the aftertaste as "the glow in the back of your throat."
The cook-off will benefit Ragan's Hope, which works to help parents of children with catastrophic illnesses or injuries by providing financial, emotional and spiritual support. The organization supports children around the country including some in East Texas, according to its website.
Sunday is for competition only, but no chili tasting. Ms. Daniels said judges are needed for both days. No experience is required. The person just needs to love chili, be able to eat it and share their opinion about it.
People interested in judging should call Ms. Daniels at 903-372-2818 or show up before the turn-in times and go to the big tent.
Most chili competitors are striving to earn 12 points at competitions or win the Rose City Chili Pod's official pod cook off, the Saturday event, so they can get an invitation to the CASI Terlingua International Chili Championship.
James Burns, who is last year's CASI Terlingua International Chili Champ, is scheduled to compete in the Tyler event, Ms. Daniels said.
If you go
Who: Rose City Chili Pod
What: Rose City Chili Cookoff
When: Public tasting starts at 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Gander Mountain, 151 Market Square Blvd., Tyler
Cost: $3 donation for tasting cup, spoon and voting ballot