Brrr, It's Chili (Fest Time) in Buellton

Bid farewell to winter with some steam-tastic stews and wine-country-tastic vinos.

HOW DO YOU SPEND... the final Sunday of a season? One imagines that you'd seek to pack in all you can, on that wonderful weekend day, before the season flows into the next. In fall? This might mean doing something autumnal, like arranging pressed leaves or sipping cider. On the last Sunday of summer, you'll want to drink all the lemonade you can, and possibly find a swimming pool to take a dip in. And come that final weekend day of spring, it should be all about seeking out flowers, and/or gardens, and wearing a sundress or something seersucker, all to fully embrace the springful sartorial moment. But in winter? You'll want to be a tad cozy, and if this means wearing a scarf, or your favorite pair of scrunchy socks, or eating wintry foods, well, aces. And there just happens to be a festival, on the final Sunday in winter, that is all about one of the classics of cold-weatherdom. It is a stew, yes, a bean-filled, or not-bean-filled, meaty, or not-so-meaty, hearty-beyond-hearty concoction that is known to warm the cockles. It is chili, yes, and the...

BUELLTON WINE & CHILI FESTIVAL... is back in the Santa Ynez Wine Country town on Sunday, March 18. Yep, that's the day after St. Patrick's, and two days before the vernal equinox, and guests can "...(s)ample from over 25 wineries, craft breweries and spirits," all while trying the zingy and possibly fiery (but absolutely flavorful) samples from the chili cook-off. Been wanting to make a day of it in the beautiful Buellton area? Bid winter adieu, alight upon that $45 ticket, and spend a Sunday afternoon stewing around the Flying Flags RV Resort. Of course, yes, you can eat chili in spring, and summer and autumn, too, but if you haven't fully been be-chili'd this winter, best remedy that, with an out-in-the-sunshine bash, in Buellton on the final Sunday of winter.

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