Contestant Application Form (PDF)

This year’s ChiliFest 2018, the West Virginia State Chili Championship, will be our 33rd year of championship chili cooking in Huntington. ChiliFest registration begins at 8:00 am and the day’s activities will be well on its way for another championship event benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State. Due to the generosity of the many cooking teams in the past, ChiliFest has now raised over $500,000.00 for the Ronald McDonald House. Your participation will ensure a big crowd, a big event and a big result for the Ronald McDonald House. All in all it’s a big day in Huntington on Saturday, September 15th, for ChiliFest 2018, and we look forward to your team’s participation.


Pullman Plaza Hotel (downtown) 1001 3rd Ave (304) 525-1001
Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel (downtown) 800 3rd Ave (304) 523-8880
The Ramada Inn Limited (3.3 miles) 3094 16th Street Road (304) 523-4242
The Super 8 Motel (3.4 miles) 3090 16th Street Road (304) 525-1410
*Fairfield Inn (3.5 miles) 536 Kinetic Drive (304) 696-8777

* indicates discount for cooks until 9/15/2018.

Additional hotels in the area around the Huntington Mall include:


All cooking teams should plan to arrive starting at 8:00 am, Saturday, September 9th to set up. You will need to enter the cookoff area at 3rd Avenue by way of 8th Street and come to the Registration/Judging Tent to register. Please unload your equipment after registration and move your vehicle outside the cookoff area to one of the parking garages or other nearby lots. Vehicles should be out of the cookoff area no later than 9:30 am. A reminder that any vehicle parked in the Pullman Square street area is subject to towing.


Registration will begin at 8:00 am and end at 9:30 am at the Registration/Judging Tent on 3rd Avenue and 8th Street. You will have a pre-assigned tent and cooking area. Tables are provided in all assigned cooking locations. At the registration area you will receive your official ICS judging cup(s) and hospitality kit. Verification of ICS membership will take place at registration. Please be ready to present your current ICS membership card when registering and you must sign the cook’s roster.

Cooks Meeting

The cooks meeting will begin at 10:00 am at the Judging Tent located at 3rd Avenue & 8th Street. A final roll call will take place and answers to any questions you may have along with final instructions for the cookoff pertaining to rules and turn-in times will be answered. This meeting will end at 10:30 am after which time you may return to begin cooking Chili Verde and Salsa. Please observe the schedule of events posted for times of events and turn-in for chili and salsa at the Judging Tent area.


See “Official Contestant Rules and Regulations” found on your official ICS application.


All chili and salsa will be turned-in at the Judging Tent area. Turn-in times are:

Judging will follow International Chili Society guidelines. The Head Judge is Bob McClain, the Head Scorekeeper is Eileen McClain, ChiliFest Chairman is Ron Smith. The decision of the judges will be final and announced stage side at approximately 5:30 pm.


Stoves will need to be of a “Coleman” camping type, which means fuel or propane stoves, no charcoal grills and electricity is not available for cooking. We will provide tent space and tables for all registered participants. Registered participants will be considered those applicants that have pre-paid the ICS membership fee and the ChiliFest registration fee.

Cabell County Health Department

During registration on the morning of ChiliFest you will not only register for the event, but the Cabell-Huntington Health Department will register you as a food vendor. All chili teams must register with the Health Dept. Later the Health Department sanitarians will visit each team location to give a brief inspection and make any suggestions for safe food handling and to insure public safety. This is a state requirement for all food vending to the public and we look forward to working with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department to insure a safe and successful chili cookoff. After having registered in the morning and following the cooks meeting you may proceed with your preparation of ingredients before your inspection is complete. Sanitarians are there to make suggestions and help chili cooks make adjustments to procedures to provide public safety and not to prevent you from cooking and enjoying ChiliFest.

The following are the general guidelines by the Cabell County Health Department for outdoor events. If you have any questions you may contact them at (304) 523-6483 and ask for Environmental Health. The following minimum guidelines are for food safety:

Entry Fees

ChiliFest 2018 is the International Chili Society’s sanctioned West Virginia State Championship. All cooks participating must be current ICS members in good standing or register to be an ICS member before cooking. You may register for the ICS the morning of the cookoff at the registration area. A one year membership into the ICS is $50. The registration fee for ChiliFest is: $40 for ICS Red Chili; $35 for Chili Verde; $10 for Salsa. All commercial entries entering in the People’s Choice category to promote your business the fee is $100. Each entry will get one corner of a 20’ x 20’ tent space from which to cook. Requests for additional space requires an upgrade charge. Please see the corporate and upgrade tent charges listed. Entry fees should be mailed to:

ChiliFest 2018
P.O. Box 523
Huntington, WV 25710-0523

Corporate Tents or Additional Tent space requests:

Due to the growing number of requests for larger tent space or whole tents for company/corporate teams ChiliFest is striving to meet the community demands. The following rates are in addition to your ICS or People’s Choice entry fees. Keep in mind that these additional spaces are limited due to the growing number of requests and space available at our ChiliFest cookoff site.


Prizes will be awarded for all of the following categories of judging.

ICS Red Chili:

Chili Verde:


Best Booth/Showmanship Award:

The Showmanship Award will be given to the team that best displays the spirit of the event. Each booth will be judged in three criteria: Booth Display, Costume & Spirit. The points will be tallied for a final score to determine the winner. The decision of the judges is final.

People's Choice / "Hardest Working Chili Team":

This award goes to the team that sells the most People’s Choice chili and collects the greatest number of sample tickets. The prize is $150 and a Blenko Glass trophy. Details of where and when to turn in your tickets of the judging count will be announced at the Cooks Meeting at 10:00 a.m.