Chili cookoff to return to Dayton Valley Days Sept. 17-18

At least 20 competitive chili cooks from Nevada and surrounding states will be vying for awards at an annual street festival to benefit historic sites in Dayton.

The sixth annual Dayton Valley Days street festival returns Sept. 17-18 and offers chili cooks the chance to qualify for the World Chili Championships scheduled in October at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

The International Chili Society sanctioned cookoff will be staged at Logan Alley in Old Town Dayton. Judging will be led by none other than Dave Hipskind, current International Chili Society World Champion.

Amateur cooks from throughout the region are encouraged to enter the People’s Choice competition.

All of the cooks, including local and regional amateurs, also will be serving up their chili recipe in a delectable race for the People’s Choice and Best of the Best awards. Those awards not only give winners bragging rights but also cash prizes.

In the People’s Choice competition, festival attendees can purchase tasting kits for $6 for one or two for $10, a cost that not only allows them to taste all of the chili in the People’s Choice competition, but also offers tasters the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite. The tasting sessions open at 11 a.m. both days and continue until the cooks run out of chili, around 2 or 3 p.m.

The two-day festival is the largest event in the community each year and draws thousands of visitors and community members to the historic district. Proceeds go to the continued restoration of the historic schoolhouse turned community center, as well as local nonprofit organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs.

This year’s schedule includes events throughout each day including a pancake breakfast each morning; daily live entertainment; Free Kids Zone; Railroad Days at the historic Carson & Colorado Depot; and tours of the historic firehouse/jail and Dayton Museum.

For more information about the cookoff, call 775-771-9848, or email Applications to participate in the cooking competition can be found at


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