Chili Cook Off

The Cultural Arts Council Douglasville/Douglas County is pleased to announce the 21st annual Chili Cook Off at the newly renovated O’Neal Plaza on Saturday, October 21st, 2017 from 6 until 9 p.m.

This Chili Cook Off was the last public event on O’Neal Plaza before the renovations started and this year’s festival will be the first public event on the new O’Neal Plaza. Come celebrate Douglasville’s newly renovated plaza and chow down on all the competing chilis!

Last year more than 3,000 people joined in this festive evening of good food, fun and entertainment as many local Douglasville celebrities presented the community with different flavors of chili. In 2016 Mike Miller, Mark Adams, and other local politicians, political parties, many candidates, and local businesses including Gold’s Gym and BB&T Bank competed to determine the best chili in Douglasville.

Proceeds, from booths and ticket sales, support the work of the Cultural Arts Council that brings artists into the schools and community, and hosts changing visual art exhibits year-round. 4-H also benefits, supporting the youth activities of the County Extension office. Sponsored by John Bleakley Ford, Georgia Power, and Chapel Hill News & Views.

Cookers Wanted

Show off your culinary skills as a chili chef in this year’s Chili Cook Off competition. It’s a fun community event in downtown Douglasville, (City’s biggest block party!) and it’s a fund raiser for the Cultural Arts Council Douglasville/Douglas County.


  • Cost: $100 per booth ($25 extra if you need to rent a tent from CAC). We encourage you to bring your own tent (no larger than 10X10, please).
  • Location: O’Neal Plaza, Downtown Douglasville on Saturday, October 21st, from 6 – 9 pm. FIRST public event on the NEWLY renovated O’Neal Plaza.
  • Set up: beginning at 4pm. Be ready by 5 pm. for early eaters!
    • Tables and chairs and rented tents will be set up for you by 4pm.
    • Remember to be sure to put a large sign on your tent to identify your booth & describe your chili – let people know who is doing the cooking and what you are serving!
  • Participants: should bring at least 10 gallons of chili, heated and ready to serve, in crock pots or in a pot on a hot plate, and a ladle. The chili can be cooked by you — or by a relative or friend. Bring more if you like as there will be a contest for “Most Sold.” Be aware that in past years the winner of the “Most Sold” did so with sales of over 20 gallons! If you wish to bring extras (i.e., cornbread, corn muffins, baked potatoes, fritos, etc.) to sell with your chili, you can, just be sure to charge in one dollar ($1.00) increments.
  • Power: Please bring no more than 2 varieties of chili (only one is expected) and, to avoid power overloads, no more than 2 pots can be used at a time. PLEASE NOTE: the CAC does not provide electric cords or power strips; cookers will need to provide their own appropriate power connections.
  • Provisions: The CAC will provide: 1 table, 2 chairs, a plastic pumpkin for your ticket sales, 2 oz. small cups for taste servings of chili, 12 oz. bowls for full servings, spoons, crackers and napkins. The CAC booth will have extra supplies and as you run out of supplies you can pick more up at the supply table (located next to the stage, under Irish Bred’s balcony). At the end of the evening when you are packing up, we would appreciate your returning any unused supplies, etc.
  • Desserts/Drinks/Hot Dogs: Dessert and hot dog/drink tables will be coordinated by CAC and 4-H. Proceeds support youth activities of both the County Extension office and the CAC.
  • Tickets: All food and drink will be paid for with tickets. No money is to be accepted at food and drink tables. There will be two ticket selling booths — one located on the Plaza at Church Street and the other at Price and Broad Street. 1 Ticket = $1
  • To-Go Bowls: The CAC will be selling to-go bowls in its booth for $1. They are large enough for a bowl serving and will allow everyone the chance to take home more chili to enjoy later. All you need to do is charge the usual $3 and fill the to-go cup instead of a bowl.
  • Food prices: for attendees will be as follows:
    • $1 A Taste of Chili
    • $2 Hot Dogs
    • $1 Cold/Hot Drinks
    • $3 A Bowl of Chili
    • $1 Desserts
    • $1 Extras (examples above)
  • Decorating: Please decorate your tent and table as creatively as you wish. There will be a “Best Decorated” award at the end of the evening. We ask participants to provide their own table skirts as part of your decorations. The Plaza is rather dark at night, so please plan to bring a string of lights or a clamp-on light for your booth, battery powered recommended.
  • The theme is Halloween, so consider a costume. There will be a costume contest for children and for adults so let your inner ghoul out! AND, every child wearing a costume gets a goodie bag!
  • Awards will be made for the “Best Tasting” chili, “Best Vegetarian” chili, and “Spiciest” chili. They will be judged by Chef Joslayn Holmes from Proof of the Pudding, Chef Scott Lamphere from Gordon Food Services, and Chef David Mata from Texas Roadhouse. “Most Sold” for the chef with the most tickets (sold or donated) collected from his/her container at the end of the evening will be announced online and in our local newspapers the week after the Chili Cook Off. “Best Decorated” for the most creatively decorated booth judged by Tuoia owner, Mausi.
  • Promotion/Visibility: Chili Cook Off is widely advertised by the City of Douglasville’s Convention and Visitors Bureau as part of a special weekend of events including the Halloween Moonlight Fun Run (also on Saturday night), so we expect a really good crowd. Spread the word to your family, friends, and co-workers!
  • Want to participate but not cook? For a $25 fee you can ‘roam’ thru Chili Cook-Off giving out brochures, pamphlets, etc. to provide information about your cause/business. A special badge will designate “roamers.”

Register Now

Print out our Chili Cook Off Registration form, complete it and return to the CAC. You may make your payment online or you may mail your payment, payable to CAC, to us.

Register as a participant:

Please Contact Us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you on October 21st! We are planning to have great weather, lots of chili eaters and great fun again this year! Remember: space is limited, so please pay as soon as possible to secure your spot. Spaces will be assigned on a first come-first served basis and can only be assigned after the fee is paid. Be one of the first participants to experience the newly renovated O’Neal Plaza!

We look forward to a howlin’ good time and to sampling everyone’s finest chili efforts!

Chili Cook Off in the News