Mmm, It's the Big Bear Chili Cook-Off

Spend a Saturday in a cooler spot while digging into warm-to-the-tum chili.

SO THERE'S SPRINGTIME, and summer, and autumn and winter, too, but then there's Chili Season, which you might accurately dub any season. That is, if you have access to a pot, a spoon, a bowl, a few beans, spices, tomatoes, and meats. But the most chili-thematic of all seasons has a way of popping up in the July-August-September window, a time of year that might be called sumautumn or perhaps sall or even autummer. It's when the hottest days begin to meld into the most mellow, a prime time for the pleasures of a beany, big-flavor'd bowl of something rather spicy. So many chili festivals show up on town schedules around this time of year, and when those parties appear at a higher elevation, one that is enjoying cooler summer nights in addition to those toastier summer afternoons? You know it is chili-grubbin' time, oh yeah. And...

BIG BEAR... is one such spot going the chili festival route, and right in the middle of July, too (the very start of the autummer season). The date for the 2018 Big Bear Chili Cook-Off is Saturday, July 14, and over 40 chili-mastering cooks'll be wielding the labels and turning out tastes that are both piquant and satisfying. The prize money'll come in at $4,000, so count on these cooks to whip up their top-notch-iest stews. The cost to get in? Totally free, and a tasting kit is five bucks (this is how you'll be able to sup upon a good number of chili samples). Other family-tastic doings shall be afoot at the music-filled celebration, so follow the savory fragrance to the event area behind the Big Bear Visitors Center. That can be found at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village. The time to be there? Everything revs up in the late morning, at 11 a.m., and the lids will be on the chili pots at 7 o'clock, the end of the sweet sumautumn eat fest.

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