Tustin’s Tasty Chili Cook-Off Soon to Simmer

It's the 35th annual outing for this eats-oriented favorite (and, yep, the Street Fair is still going strong, too).

Lars Howlett

What to Know

  • June 2, 2019
  • Old Town Tustin
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

How do you best cross the bridge from the foggy days of May Gray to the also as foggy days of June Gloom?

Even those who dig weather-type details would say that we're basically talking about the same thing here: Damp-sky'd mornings that rock a heavy marine layer vibe.

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But what if there was a hearty foodstuff that you could enjoy as you bid May Gray goodbye and enter the chilly world of June Gloom?

It would be so lovely, and timely, if there was, say, a major chili festival of some sort, the kind of party filled with warm samples of tum-happy goodness.

Wait what? There is? And it has been around for 35 years? Someone hand us a spoon, quick.

For it's the Tustin Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off we're super-stoked about here, a true must-do in the California chili showdown annals.

And, once again, it'll happen just as May Gray goes and June Gloom gets chili, er, we mean chilly: Sunday, June 2 is the 2019 date.

The chili sampling game is STRONG at this long-running fair, all caps required, so prepare to try what a lot of skilled chiliheads are making. ("Chilihead," of course, is a high honor, only to be bestowed upon those who know how to perfect a spicy stew.)

Also strong? There's a watermelon-eating contest at the fair, to remind us that while June Gloom is here, summer is near.

And on the non-eating end, there are nice cars to admire, craft booths to browse, and all of the happy hallmarks of a really popular festival.

And we do mean POPULAR, all caps required yet again, for this one-day party has attracted over 30,000 people. 

Never underestimate the power of a delicious chili sample.

The International Chili Society is behind the bash, which spreads out over several Old Town Tustin blocks from 11 a.m. to 6 o'clock. That's seven savory hours of strollable sample seeking, and general see-stuff enjoyment.

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