You don't always find a lot of hot stuff in Baldwin Park, but the laid-back community will be smoking' on Saturday when the second annual Orlando Chili Cook-off takes over Blue Jacket Park, not to be confused with Blue Blazer Park.
The promoters of the cook-off are expecting it to be even bigger than last year, which was pretty big. It's a full day-long event with bands, activities for the kids and chili. Lots and lots of chili. And your admission fee gets you a taste of all the competitors' chilies. And let me tell you, they can be pretty varied. Some of the participants are just people who like to make chili. Some are die-hard competitors vying for the prize in a Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) sanctioned competition. There's also a vegetarian category and one for restaurants. There should be about 64 participants in all. That's a lot of chili to taste!
Admission to the cook-off is $7 if ordered online or $10 at the gate. Beer and wine, as well as sodas and water, will also be available for sale, though why anyone would want to drink anything but beer with chili is beyond me.
Proceeds go to support Special Olympics Florida. Last year the event raised over $15,000.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Orlando Chili Cook-off Web site. You'll also find a map to Blue Jacket Park.