So, let’s talk chili for a minute.

Do you have a favorite recipe? Maybe one passed down in your family? Do you like beans in your chili or only meat and gravy?

There is a reason for the questions.

We are having our second annual Chili Cook Off on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Janzell Wines on Grant Street in Chambersburg.

We did this last year, and it was so much fun. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite events from 2018, so you do not want to miss this one.

Here’s the deal. There are two levels of competition – one is a professional chili (which is only meat and gravy) judged by professional chili judges. This is actually the Mid-Atlantic Championship Event for CASI (the Chili Appreciation Society International). It’s kind of a pretty big deal.

The second competition is anything goes chili and it will be judged by the public. You can put anything you want in the chili – whatever you think would win you the top place.

There’s a $25 entry fee which will get you into both levels of competition, but you don’t have to do both.

The chili has to be cooked on site and the people’s choice competition begins at 10 and goes as long as the chili holds out. The professional competition will be judged at 2.

We will be there to hand out voting tickets. This is how it works. You pay to place your vote for the people’s choice chili and the money goes back to the shelter. It’s $1 for a taste or $5 for six tastes. The $5 will get you one gold coin. You can give $10 for 15 tastes and that will get you two gold coins. The gold coins are worth two votes in someone’s bucket.

The thing about this is if you win the people’s choice, you get a trophy AND money. First place gets $200, second place gets $100 and third place gets $50. So not only can you get bragging rights for winning a chili cook off, you can also get cold, hard cash.

Cool, right?

Look, even if you don’t want to make chili, come on out and sample. Be judges for the people’s choice chili and let your chili-eating voice be heard! Not only do you get to hone your palate, you can help homeless animals at the same time. That’s a serious win-win in my book.

I absolutely love the folks at Mason Dixon BBQ in Greencastle for setting all this up. Seriously, if you haven’t met Eric yet, you gotta stop by and see him. He’s the coolest guy and super generous to us.

Then there is the gang at Janzell Wines and GearHouse Brewing Co. They have had our backs for years now, and donated to us in so many ways.

The Chili Cook Off is one of the coolest ways to help CVAS and sample some yummy chili.

For more information, visit: or

Trust me, this is one event you want to put on the calendar and make sure you attend.


Jennifer Vanderau is the Director of Communications for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at: The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at: (717) 263-5791, or visit the website: CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

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