The 4th Annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival in Laishley Park Punta Gorda

January 31, 2015 all-day
Punta Gorda ChiliFest
Laishley Park
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Event Admission

The 4th Annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival in Laishley Park Punta Gorda


Punta Gorda Chili Fest


The aroma of award winning chili will return to Laishley Park in Punta Gorda on January 31st, 2015.  That’s when the 4th annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival is coming to town.

25 chili teams will set up their chili cooking booths in Laishley Park in an effort to persuade the judges and the general public that their chili is the best. The teams may consist of friends, family, service organizations, clubs, non-profits, businesses, or just about anyone who has the desire to make good, if not great chili.

In addition to making great chili, teams will be challenged to decorate their 15? x 15? booths in a “Hillbilly Chili” theme.  The best decorated booth will win the Showmanship award and a first place prize of $500.  Booths will be judged on five criteria – Theme, Action, Costume, Audience Appeal, and Booth Set-Up. Awards will be given to the top five booths.

Teams may decorate their booths however they choose using any type of decorations, lights, banners, flags, props, etc. The only requirement is everything must be inside the 15 x 15 booth area. Chili Teams may also dress the theme or wear costumes as part of the booths appearance.




Chili will be the focus of the day and it will be judged in two ways.  A panel of judges will taste test samples from each of the teams.  Judges will score chili samples on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best.

There are five criteria for scoring– Aroma, Consistency, Color, Taste, and Texture. NOTE: Heat is not a grading factor!  The Chili Challenge winners will receive $500, Bragging rights, and a trophy and prizes will be awarded through 5th place.  

There will also be a $500 Award for the People’s Choice of best Chili. Each attendee will receive a voting coupon when they enter through the main gate, Collect as many of those coupons from people visiting your booth as you can!


The Team with the most coupons wins the coveted People’s Choice Award and $500! People’s Choice Coupons will be collected at 4pm with the winner announced at the Award Ceremony at 5pm on the main stage. 




What goes better with Chili than an ice cold beer? At the festival, thirsty attendees will have an opportunity to sample different beers from small breweries not always readily available in our area.

The Beer Tasting Tent will feature over 15 different craft beers from Micro-Breweries around the country to satisfy your thirst. Specialty beers will be available by samples or by the bottle.

So mark your calendars for January 31, 2015.  The 4th Annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival in Laishley Park is sure to warm up a cool January day with great food, great live music, and great beer!


$3 – Kids under 12 free admission. Tickets are required for Chili, beer, other food and the kids area. Ticket value: $1 each.



12 noon – Chili Sampling and Craft Beer Tent Open!
12:30pm – Live on stage – Deb & the Dynamics
3:00pm – Live on stage – Rusty Wright
4:00pm – People’s Choice voting ends
5:00pm – Awards Ceremony on Main stage



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