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'Chili'n on the Avenue' Heats Up for a Big Third Year

North Avenue's East Tosa District will heat up Saturday with chili cookoff and headliner act Paul Cebar, plus business vendors and bouncy fun for kids.

From the East Tosa Alliance:

East Tosa is proud to announce the 3rd annual Chili’n on the Avenue.

Chili’n on the Avenue is a chili cookoff taking place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday from North 68th to 71st streets on North Avenue in East Tosa. The Chili’n Street Festival will bring entertainment, music, vendors, a specialty kids area and, of course, chili.

This event attracts local and regional residents to discover the diverse businesses and vibrant neighborhoods of East Tosa. We are pleased with this year’s music lineup, which will include a headline performance from Paul Cebar at 3:30 p.m.

Proceeds from this event are used to promote East Tosa as a shopping and dining destination as well as attract new businesses to the area.

Last year, Chili'n on the Avenue raised over $6,000, which is used for reinvestment in the district by the East Tosa Alliance, and, in conjunction with Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association, raised $1,200 for the Ronald McDonald House.

We had over 5,000 people in attendance, sampling the award-winning chili, local shopping vendors and enjoying the entertainment lineup.

Event Schedule

  • 11 a.m - Street Festival Opens
  • 11:30 a.m. – Performance by John Stano
  • 1 p.m. – Chili Judging Begins
  • 1:30 p.m. – Performance by Saturday Night Preachers
  • 3:15 p.m. – Chili Winner Announced
  • 3:30 p.m. – Performance by Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound

Below are a few participating vendors in the kids area. We have a great lineup planned, so stop on by and check out the action.

Cook-off: Interested in participating as a cook? Be sure to visit easttosa.org for details and registration information on entering your best chili in the contest.

Volunteers: In order to support this annual neighborhood event we are in need of plenty of volunteers. We are begging and pleading to get your help for this event.

Honestly, it is a fun event for the whole family and a great way to meet and socialize with your neighbors.

You can help by volunteering in a variety of different booths, at the Family Fun Zone or with easy setup and cleanup tasks (at least that is where you will start).

You can sign-up with Heidi and Harris (our volunteer coordinators) three different ways: Email laddfamily5@gmail.com, call 414-456-1225 or complete the volunteer sign up form online at www.easttosa.org.

The online volunteer registration link is located under "upcoming events" on the left side navigation bar.

In the middle of the Chili’n page you will find information on how to sign up as a volunteer.

You can either email us your form or do it the old-fashioned way – print it and place it in our mailbox at 2505 N. 72nd St.

Cooks' information

It’s not too late to register! You can register right up to the event, from 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturday. We will have forms on site and will take cash or check made out to East Tosa Alliance.

Pricing is as follows:

  • $25 for entry into single category
  • $35 for entry into two categories
  • $50 for entry into all three categories

FAQ’s:

Q: How large is my space?

A: Approximately 12×12.

Q: What time can I start setting up?

A: We recommend showing up between 8am-9am to start setting up. The festival begins at 11am, but judging and turn-in are not until 1pm.

Q: Can I marinate my meat ahead of time?

A: No. All food must be prepared from scratch. “Scratch” is defined as starting with raw meat. No marinating is allowed. Commercial chili powder is permissible, but complete commercial chili mixes (“just add meat” mixes that contain pre-measured spices) are not permitted.

Q: Does Chili’n provide electricity for cooks?

A: No. In the past, most cooks have used either camp stoves or turkey fryer-type pots atop a propane burner. We don’t generally recommend generators, as they are loud and it's a small space.

Q: Can I decorate?

A: Yes. All cook-off participants are encouraged to participate in the showmanship category competition. The goal is to decorate your cooking space to reflect your chili.

Q: What kind of prizes are there?

A: We give trophies for 1st through 3rd place for CASI (Chili Appreciation Society Internatioal) chili, and ribbons for 4th through 7th. We also give trophies for 1st through 3rd places for homestyle chili, salsa and the People’s Choice award. We give ribbons for 1st through 3rd place for showmanship.

Good luck and may the best cook win!

General information

Ticket Prices:
Chili’n tickets, $1 each, are good for chili and salsa samples, as well as all beverages sold at the festival.

  • Water: 1 ticket
  • Chili and salsa: 1 ticket
  • Soda: 2 tickets
  • Beer: 3 tickets
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade: 4 tickets
  • Sangria: 5 tickets

Carnival tickets, at 25 cents each, can be used in the family area for games and rides Games and rides are from 2 to 4 tickets each.

Wristbands can be purchased for $8 for unlimited bouncing, all day, on the inflatable slide, obstacle course and bounce house.

Over 21? Don’t forget your ID. You will be carded at the time of ticket purchase if you intend to purchase libations.

Please note that business vendors take cash only. Tickets are good only for the items and activities listed above.

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