The 31-year-old tradition of the annual Wagonmasters Chili Cookoff is set to once again turn up the heat on the area’s taste buds. The event has been a longstanding tradition in Wichita with teams from Kansas and surrounding states coming to participate. You can thank the Wichita Wagonmasters, a group of civic-minded citizens that formed to promote the good life in the Heart of the Country.

The 2023 cookoff is anticipated to draw a crowd of over 10,000 people who share a passion to taste or cook the best chili in the Midwest. It will take place Saturday, Sept. 30 at Naftzger Park, which is the intersection of Douglas and St. Francis. Participants and attendees look forward to this event all year long.

Wagonmasters Chili Cookoff 2022 picEnjoy all the fun and flavor with chili tasting kits for $5. Chili tasting kits give attendees access to a sample a cup of chili from all the booths at the event. Proceeds go to fund the Wagonmasters' Good Life Grants program, which helps dozens of local nonprofits and charities. 

Chili tasting is open to the public starting at noon to give attendees ample time to visit more than 80 booths at the cookoff. Tickets can be purchased at the cookoff starting at 11 a.m.

Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff

The categories of the cookoff offer a variety of chili:

  • No-Beans About It: No bean chili
  • Anything goes: Anything the competing team wants to put in their chili
  • Chili Verde: Any kind of meat or combination of meats cooked with green chili peppers-no beans or pasta allowed
  • Red Chili: Any kind of meat or combination of meats cooked with red chili peppers-no beans or pasta allowed
  • Chili for Charity: Nonprofits make chili to share their message and raise money for their organization  
  • Chili for Restaurants: Local restaurants showcase their menu’s chili
  • Participants can also enter salsa

The cookoff not only features mouthwatering chili, but other exciting events such as:

  • Live music featuring rock band Epic all day long
  • Pepper Eating Contest
  • Games and cash prizes

The high spirit of the chili cookoff will leave you wanting more. Don’t let the fun end there!

Nortons Brewing Co Beer Garden and Patio

Enjoy more local flavors with breweries in the area:

Clothing is hung on racks at Dead Center Vintage in Wichita

Stop in to explore local shopping & lifestyle businesses: