Rotary Club Seeks Chili Chefs for Annual Cook-Off

Residents are invited to cook up their best chili recipes for the annual chili cook-off at the Hillsborough County Fair.

For the fifth year, members of the Rotary Club of FishHawk/Riverview are inviting residents to dig out their best chili recipes and compete for a chance to be the chili champion of the Hillsborough County Fair.

The club will host its chili cook-off Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds at the corner of Sydney-Washer Road and State Road 60 in Dover.

Everyone is welcome to come out and taste chili made by groups, individuals and youth entrants in the contest, and vote for their favorite choice. 

The winning chili chef will receive a monetary award. 

Proceeds will go to fund the Rotary Club Scholarship fund for the Hillsborough County youth exhibitors at the fair and other Rotary charities.

Tickets can be pre-purchased for $5 and include fair entry.

To purchase tickets or enter a chili team, visit the club's website or call 813-200-8840.

The chili cook-off is among a variety of activities taking place at this year's county fair, which runs from Wednesday, Oct. 17, to Sunday, Oct. 21.

Other activities at the county fair include:

  • Livestock shows each day, including sheep jumping, cow clipping, rabbit costume contests and 4H or FFA youth competing for showmanship awards.
  • The Family Living Arts and Crafts area where entrants will vie for blue ribbons in art, photography, baking, needlepoint, quilting and more.
  • A Battle of the Teen Bands Friday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the outdoor stage.
  • A Harvest Pageant for Babies and Children Sunday, Oct. 21 at noon. Entry forms are available on the fair website.
  • A Recycled Yard Art Competition and Hay Bale Decorating Contest.
  • An FFA tractor-driving contest Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.
  • A 4H Foundation barbecue dinner Saturday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Traditional fair food including roast corn on the cob, mini-donuts and fried vegetables along with hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by the Brandon Shrine Club.
  • A Talent Showcase Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m.
  • A plant auction Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m.
  • An adult and youth horticulture competition.
  • A Youth Horse Show.
  • A show by the Bay Area Bandits Mounted Shooting Club Saturday, Oct. 20.
  • A speed show by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Mounted Posse Sunday, Oct. 21.
  • A Ranch Rodeo Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. in which ranch hands compete for cash prizes as they team up in events like Wild Cow Milking, Bronc Riding, Mutton Busting and more. The Desert Moon Band will offer a pre-rodeo show. An additional ticket is required.
  • Horses Got Talent Too with Heidi Herriott
  • The Firefighter Show, an educational interactive safety act
  • Robinson's Racing Pigs.
  • A kids cooking contest organized by the Cattle Women Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • A whip popping/cracking contest Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. 
  • A midway with rides for all ages.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and free for children 5 years and under. Parking is free. Daily gate specials will be posted on the fair website.

Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17, 5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 18, noon to 11 p.m. Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 20 and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 21.





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