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12th Annual Chili Challenge Set for February 9th

February 9, 2014 | 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Francesca's Banquets
144 Main Street, Ilion, NY United States

Additional Information

The 12th annual Chili Challenge to benefit the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, February 9th, at Francesca’s Banquets and Catering, 144 E. Main St., Ilion. Tickets cost $12 at the door.

The Chili Challenge features professional and amateur cooks and the best chili in the Mohawk Valley. Usually held on the Sunday after the Super Bowl, the event has regularly attracted more than 300 people who are looking for a tasty way to stay warm in the dead of winter.

Media members are invited to attend a news conference to kick off the event at 4:00 p.m. Friday, January 31 at Francesca’s Banquets and Catering, 144 E. Main St., Ilion. Cooks, event sponsors and Red Cross officials will be on hand to explain the special ingredients that have made the Chili Challenge a Mohawk Valley tradition.

“No football, no problem. The Chili Challenge is a great way to spend the Sunday between the Super Bowl and school break,” says Chris Bray, Chair of the American Red Cross Mohawk Valley Chapter. “This is a fun event that helps us with our serious mission of providing comfort to the people who need it most throughout the Mohawk Valley.”


The competition includes a “Restaurant League” and an “Amateur League,” with award categories in each league (Best Presentation, Most Unique, and Hottest) and overall People’s Choice. Visitors will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite chili.


As of Monday, the competitors included Heidelberg Café, PK’s Pub, Sorrento’s/Salvatore’s, Dominick’s Deli, and American Food & Vending in the Restaurant League, and MOVAC, Matt Powers, Marcus Neckermann, Bill & Nikki Hewitt, Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber, KVAC, Assemblyman Marc Butler, and Eric Burger in the Amateur League.


The family-friendly event will also include a 50/50 raffle, beer tasting and Kenny the Promo Guy to DJ the event. This is the fifth consecutive year for the event at Francesca’s.


The proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Working families in the Mohawk Valley often require emergency assistance from home fires, flooding and other disasters.


For more information about the Chili Challenge, please contact Denise Snyder, American Red Cross Board Member and Chili Challenge Committee Member, at 315-867-0385.


If You Go

What: 12th Annual Chili Challenge

When: Noon to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 9

Where: Francesca’s Banquets and Catering, 144 E. Main St., Ilion

Tickets: $12.00 (children 12 and under free). Available at the door.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross in a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the America public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join the blog at


To benefit: Contact:

American Red Cross Denise Snyder

Mohawk Valley Chapter Chili Challenge Committee Member

1415 Genesee St. (315)-867-0385

Utica, NY 13501



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