Saybrook Chili Festival Heats up the Season
If chili is more your style, check out the Chili Festival in Old Saybrook March 5. The Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce hosts the popular event, with 30 to 35 spicy and savory chili choices.
The festival funds the chamber’s scholarship program. A ballot costs $5 to taste all the chili and vote for your favorite.
Judy Sullivan, executive director of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce, said people get into the spirit of the event by doing things like wearing sombreros.
The top three chili winners get prizes and a monetary donation to the charity of their choice. There’s also an honorable mention for fourth place. She said the top prize also wins a coveted paper-mache chili pepper.
Stores host different restaurants, some with cornbread, others with chips. The event, from noon to 3 p.m., is on Main Street and organizers hope it will go down Route 1 this year as well.
Susan Esty, chairperson of the event and owner of Esty’s LLC, said the festival gets larger every year.
“This has become a popular event, a lot of families come,” she said. “There is quite the rivalry between the chefs and their fans, people support their favorite with T-shirts and signs.”
The chamber, she added, provides scholarships not only for high school students, but also for adults who want to further their education, either with specific training courses or recertification.
“It’s important to me, especially in today’s tough times, that we support businesses in this way as well,” she said.