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Chili lovers can head over to New Town on Saturday for the “Chili N’ Tunes” festival, a combination chili competition and Journey tribute concert.
The event, which had a turn out of more than 300 people in its inaugural year last fall despite less than ideal weather, will include numerous local restaurants serving up unlimited chili for both the general public and a panel of judges to compare and enjoy.
Participating restaurants include Paul’s Deli, Center Street Grill, Hogarth’s Bar and Bistro, the Corner Pocket, Opus 9, Sticks Kebob Shop and Two Drummers Smokehouse.
Each restaurant has two shots at taking home an accolade: the panel of judges – which includes Assistant County Administrator Adam Kinsman and Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance members Bob Harris and Beth Zambella – will select their favorite chili, but all festival-goers have the chance to vote for the chili they want to win the People’s Choice award.
Last year, Opus 9 took home the judge’s trophy while Two Drummers won the People’s Choice vote, and both organizations will be returning to defend their titles Saturday.
Journey tribute band Trial by Fire will be returning to play the chili festival again this year, with recent Warhill High School graduate Willy Tintype opening with his unique brand of original country and blues. Tintype will take the stage a 5 p.m., with Trial by Fire going on at 6:30 p.m.
The Chili N’ Tunes is part of an ongoing effort by a group of business owners in New Town to put on seasonal concerts and events that bring more people to New Town to check out its many offerings.
“I’ve been talking with the guys in Trial by Fire about returning since they came last year, and they are excited. They sound really great,” said Scott Grafton, owner of Iron-Bound Gym. “The whole event should be a lot of fun.”
Chili N’ Tunes will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Legacy Hall in New Town. Tickets for both unlimited chili and the concert are $25 in advance and can be bought here or at participating New Town retailers.
Tickets for just the show are $8 in advance. Prices will go up at the door, but military discounts will also be available.