…Salsa, and Beer Tasting!

This Saturday, May 11th, marks the 16th Annual Great Petaluma Chili Cook-off, Salsa and Beer Tasting.  The event has become a Petaluma institution and is always a crowd favorite.  This isn’t hard to believe with over 40 chili and salsa teams battling it out for top honors.  And don’t forget about the beer garden and the music and entertainment.   The event is held from 1pm – 5pm in and around Herzog Hall (Petaluma Fairgrounds) and benefits Cinnabar Theater’s Young Repertory program.  Think of it as doing your good deed for the day, with all the food, drink, entertainment, and great Petaluma energy that you could want, as an added bonus.

This year’s event is sure to be the biggest ever.  The challenger spots sold out quickly, giving them plenty of extra time to tweak their recipes…so now it is your job to come and taste (and vote on) their creations.  These teams spend all year working on their recipes in order to take their shot at Chili glory.  You can see a venerable who’s-who of local restaurants, caterers, businesses and service organization by checking out their challengers’ page.

Along with the high energy competition of chili and salsa tasting inside Herzog Hall, outside the pace slows a bit and allows you to enjoy the Petaluma spring weather with music, dancing, people watching and a vast array of libations in the beer garden.  As always, the beer garden is anchored by the highly charitable local favorite and winner of multiple People’s Choice Awards, Lagunitas Brewing Company.  They are in good company with a virtual who’s-who of West Coast breweries.

But not be outdone by our celebrity judges, everyone entering through the front door is given a set of ballots cards to distribute among their top chili, salsa and beer choices.  These ballots are tallied for an array of ever popular People’s Choice Awards.  As the competition heats up, each voting card garners more cheering, bell ringing and noise making than the last, as the teams vie for these coveted trophies.  This is not just a food and beer tasting “event.”  This is a chance to participate in one of the great Petaluma experiences while supporting a great cause.  Events like the Great Petaluma Chili Cook-off, Salsa and Beer Tasting are what make Petaluma such a great place to live and why so many people want to come back and visit.

This is a family style event with special pricing and entertainment for the kids.  For all the information about the 16th Annual Great Petaluma Chili Cook-off, Salsa and Beer Tasting visit www.greatchilicookoff.com. Parking is free, both at the fairgrounds and on the street.