Annual chili cookoff returning to Carson City July 9-10 to benefit Honor Flight

Two days of live music, crafts, raffles, rides on military vehicles and plenty of chili are planned from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 9-10.

The International Chili Society’s High Sierra Regional Chili Cookoff on July 9 and Nevada Capital Chili Cookoff on July 10 are returning to Glen Eagles, 3700 N. Carson St.

All proceeds go to Honor Flight, a nonprofit that takes veterans from World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars to Washington, D.C.

“The men and women who served our country deserve to see the memorials that were built in their honor,” said John Konvicka, known in the community as Big John, the event organizer and head fundraiser for Honor Flight. “A lot of them have never been there. It’s a way of saying thank you for giving us this wonderful country.”

Honor Flight pays $1,000 per veteran to make it to the nation’s capital at no cost to the veteran. The program has seen significant growth since its inception five years ago, with three trips already done this year and another three planned in the fall.

The annual fundraiser offers live music by Joseph Greco, as well as a craft fair, face painting and raffle prizes. Military equipment will be on hand courtesy of Cactus Air Force.

As for the chili, organizers are expecting 28-32 professional cooks to participate. The winners go on to a national chili competition.

“A lot of people don’t realize, over 10 national champions came from Carson City. There’s some really good chili here,” Konvicka said.

Judging takes place from 3 to 4 p.m. Chili will be judged in four categories — red, green salsa and people’s choice.

Sample kits cost $3, and each kit comes with a raffle ticket. Raffle prizes include yard sculptures, pictures, jewelry and other items.

Amid all the activities, Konvicka is urging attendees to remember to thank a veteran.

“The event gives veterans a place to come and the community a chance to say thank you for your service. It will be crawling with Korean and World War II veterans. There are some heroes that walk around on that grass.”

Vendor space is still available. For more information, call Konvicka at 775-315-3700.


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