Offering mouth-watering recipes of homemade chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the City of Gatlinburg hosts its annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff on Wednesday, November 8 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in downtown.
City dignitaries will signify the start of Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff with a ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights throughout the city.”
This year’s event features great musical acts throughout the night performing on multiple stages. Headline entertainer Tara Thompson will perform on the Bush’s Best Stage at traffic light number 6. The rising country music singer is a featured act in many of Nashville’s premier honky-tonks and has recently been the opening act in front of thousands for her cousin, the Queen of Country Music, Loretta Lynn. Thompson will go on at 6:15 p.m. on the Bush’s Best Stage at traffic light number 6. The Grassabillies will open at 5:15 p.m. The Greenbrier Band will perform 3 times throughout the night beginning at 5:00 p.m. on the south entrance of the Cookoff near The Historic Gatlinburg Inn. All Sauced Up Hot Chili Eating Contests are at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. across from Reagan Terrace Mall, and Winter Magic Kickoff lighting starts at 6:00 p.m. on the Bush’s Best Stage.
Participants in the Chili Cookoff will be competing for the coveted People’s Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation, Best Apron. While the street event is free, tickets for chili sampling are $10. There is also a special edition t-shirt available for purchase.
Excitement will really heat up with the popular Hot-Chili Eating Contest. During the event contestants will consume chili with increasing levels of heat as the competion progresses.