Spice it up this Saturday at the Dells Chili Cookoff!

Bright, crisp air, amazing colors, off-season deals and Halloween treats. It’s autumn in the dells and there’s always something going on! Our cooler temps are making it perfect for the annual Dells Chili Cookoff. Along with a host of other fall activities this time of year, the Dells Chili Cookoff gives you a chance to give your taste buds a work-out. It is part of a full day of activities this Saturday in Wisconsin Dells.

Watch The 2012 Chilli Cookoff Video.

The day’s events get underway in Downtown Wisconsin Dells this Saturday morning (October 6th) at 10:30am with stagecoach rides, pony rides, and a jail lockup. When the festival grounds open up at 11:00am, it’s time to tap the kegs, open up the beer tent and get some Texas hold ’em poker underway. By noon the aroma of freshly cooked chili will fill the air as public chili tasting starts! Contestants come from near and far to put their culinary skills to the test. Be aware however, that there is a cash prize for the hottest chili at the cookoff! Get your share of the samples and be sure to vote for your favorite.

This is serious business for the cookoff contestants. There is pride and cash at stake. There’s $500 in prize money available for the Judges Choice awards, a $200 award for the People’s Choice, $150 given for the hottest Chili, and even $150 grand prize for the best booth presentation.

There will be stage entertainment all day with Channel 15’s Carleen Wild performing from noon until 4. Enjoy street performances throughout the day from the 1880’s troupe “Hole in the Sock Gang”.

Registration for the Chili Cookoff contest is closed, but there are still openings for the Texas hold’em tournament. Registration for the tournament starts at 10:30am. If you are planning on playing in the poker tournament, please bring a photo ID as registration is limited to those 21 years of age and older. There’s a printable online form here. Cook-off and tournament winners will be announced and prizes awarded at 4:00pm.

This weekend’s Dells Chili Cookoff has free admission, so come on over, up or down to Wisconsin Dells for some fall fun for the entire family.

If chili isn’t your thing, weekends in October provide some other thrills for the family, including this weekend:

  • Ghost Boat Adventures from Dells Boat Tours
  • Mt. Olympus’ Not So-Spooky Halloween Party Friday and Saturday nights
  • Wilderness Resort Fall Fun with wagon rides, costumed trick or treating every Saturday
  • Kalahari Fall Festival with hayrides and pumpkin painting on Saturdays
  • Corn Maze at the DiMarti Family Farms

There is so much more including a variety of Halloween parties (for adults and kids), costume contests and more.

October is a terrific time to visit the Dells with great camping, discount hotel rooms, and savings on dining and nightlife. Our indoor waterparks are offering great family getaways, and our 3 area ziplines provide some amazing thrills and views of fall foliage. Many of our attractions are offering autumn and Halloween theme “treats” between now and the end of the month so get the family together and plan a day, or a weekend in Wisconsin Dells.

Can’t make the cookoff this weekend? Here are 5 interesting chili recipes from our friends at the Food Network. Enjoy!

Dragon’s Breath Chili – Guy Fieri shares his smokin’ recipe for chili that includes beer and sausage. On Wisconsin…

Vegetarian Chili – Emeril Lagasse shares his colorful chili recipe that doesn’t contain meat but does contain some Emeril BAMM!

No Bean Beef Chili – You may have your own reasons for chili without the beans. Sandra Lee’s recipe takes almost 5 and a half hours to prepare. It must be good!

Jamie’s Award Winning Chili – Jamie Deen says this is award winning. Beer, sausage and beef are a good start.

Chicken Chili – From the Barefoot Contessa here’s one chili recipe you don’t have to be afraid to try. Actually it contains chicken.