O’Leno Park to host annual chili cookoff

The annual O’Leno Ole Chili Cookoff and Springs Celebration is slated for April 8.
Courtesy of Alachua County

The annual O’Leno Ole Chili Cookoff and Springs Celebration is returning for a 14th year on April 8. 

The event will feature a chili cookoff, live music from the Weeds of Eden, a guided walk along the river trail, children’s activities, art vendors, and environmental exhibits, according to a press release.    

Hosted by the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department and Florida State Parks at O’Leno State Park (410 SE O’Leno Park Road), check-in and open registration begin at 8 a.m. and the chili competition begins at 9 a.m. The Springs Celebration begins at 11 a.m. with the chili tasting to follow at 12:30 p.m.  

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Chili-tasting kits will be on sale for $7 and visitors can vote on their favorites. The proceeds will go to the Friends of O’Leno non-profit organization supporting the state park.  

Attendees are encouraged to enter the chili competition. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded for a meat category, vegetarian category and the people’s choice award. It is $20 for the first entry and $15 for each additional entry. Contestants must be 18 years or older to participate in the competition. To pre-register, contestants must fill out the registration form.  

All chili must be prepared on-site, so contestants must bring everything needed to prepare their chili. Download a basic set of instructions here.  

Admission to O’Leno State Park will be waived with the donation of a canned good (no expired cans).  

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