It’s difficult to outgrow a venue as spacious as Stone Mountain Park but the 34th annual Great Miller Light Chili Cook-Off has apparently managed that particular feat. This year’s tomato sauce enrobed ground meat swill fest will take place at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, Saturday, October 5. The annual extreme eating event has also undergone a name change, The Great Miller Lite Chili and BBQ Cook-Off, reflecting the new venue’s ability to host amateur pit masters, all vying for the coveted best barbecue chicken and ribs awards.
When the event started in 1979, it drew 1,000 attendees and 15 competitive teams. The 2012 cook-off attracted more than 250 teams and more than 10,000 spoon slurping attendees. According to reps for the event, the venue move allows the cook-off to add the pit barbecue competition while attendees get to enjoy onsite restrooms and a flatter, um, less mountainous terrain to navigate.
One thing hasn’t changed about the cook-off. As always, 100 percent of the proceeds raised from the $10 entrance fee goes to the kids facing medical challenges at Camp Twin Lakes, one of Atlanta magazine’s favorite charities. In just seven years, the event has helped to raise more than $500,000 for the nonprofit.
And because you secretly want to know this, this year’s bands gigging at the day-long indigestion emporium include: Revival, an Allman Brothers tribute band, Whollgans, a Who tribute band, 7 Bridges, billed as “the ultimate Eagles experience” and party rock act, The Geeks, who are known for performing Bonjovi covers while rocking vintage velour Star Trek uniforms.
Oh, and you may want to begin training your lower intestinal track for the event now. This year’s cook-off will feature approximately 300 chili booths, all offering samples of spicy meat and corn dotted elixirs to you, and that’s not counting the brand new pit barbecue offerings.
For more info, go to the official event website.