The Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-Off is the largest event of its kind in the state

The Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-Off is the largest event of its kind in the state, with local and regional chili cook teams competing for the right to represent VA at the World Championship Chili Cook-Off in Las Vegas or Omaha each year.

All proceeds support Greenvale School’s Scholarship Tuition Fund.

The Chili Cook-Off will take place in downtown Roanoke on Saturday, May 4th.

The Cook-Off typically yields $30,000 in net proceeds that benefit Greenvale School’s program.

The Chili Cook-Off draws an average of 8,000 patrons each year.

The Chili Cook-Off is a family affair with activities for all ages, including a free Children’s Festival Zone that is staffed by Greenvale School teachers.

This year’s event lineup will include fresh chili and salsa tastings, with patrons voting for their favorite People’s Choice Chili; live entertainment and music; craft vendor booths; a beer garden; the famous jalapeno pepper eating contest; the new “Chili Slurp” contest; and numerous trophies and cash prizes for the winning Chili Cook Teams.

At least 150 volunteers are needed every year to make sure the event runs smoothly from 5:00 a.m. (setup) through the cleanup activities that end around 6:00 p.m.

The Chili Cook-Off typically draws 35 Chili Cook teams and 20 craft vendors per year.

60 Chili Tasting Judges are needed to judge each chili and salsa entry. The chili judging is held on the ground floor of The Rutherford Companies, whose office is adjacent to the event site.

The best Red Chili Cook Team is awarded $1,000 and goes on to represent VA in the World Championship Chili Cook-Off held each autumn.

WDBJ7 Mornin' Melissa Gaona and photojournalist Sam Doyle kicked off the event with a competition of their own: Vegetarian vs. Carnivore.

Out of 11 votes, Melissa won with 7!