Showdown on the Square returns October 1 to Darlington


DARLINGTON, SC –  Do you or someone you know make awesome chili? Want a chance to win up to $250, a trophy, and bragging rights to the Best Chili in Town? Enter the Showdown on the Square Chili Cook-Off at the Market on Darlington Square. The event will be held Saturday, October 1, but you need to register by Friday, September 23.

“The chili cook-off brought a lot of different people to the Square, and everyone had a good time choosing their favorite chili,” says Lisa Chalian-Rock, city planning director and Market committee chair. “We hope to get more folks involved and interacting, and food is certainly a great way to do that.”

Individuals, churches, civic groups, and businesses can compete. Entry fee is $15. You can download the entry form and see complete rules online at by clicking on “Local Activities” under Attractions & Leisure. You may also call 398-4000 x 103 or email or stop by City Hall, 400 Pearl St.

Cookers and cook teams will have a shot at two prizes: the Judges Award ($250) and the People’s Choice Award ($150).

The public chooses the second award. Each taster will buy a colored wristband ($5), and only those wearing a wristband can be served. The taster will be given one ticket to vote for their favorite chili. A ticket bucket will provided and collected to count votes determining the winners. Tasting will start at 11 am with the People’s Choice Award tallied at 12:30-12:45 pm.

Chili is, for the purpose of this contest, a meat and spice concoction which may also be cooked with peppers, onions, tomatoes, beans and other ingredients. Rice, pasta, corn chips, taco shells, etc. cannot be used for this contest. Cook teams will identify if their chili contains foods known to cause allergies such as nuts, chocolate or similar ingredients.

Besides the chili, find farmers, gardeners, artisans, and craftsmen selling a variety of hand-made items, produce, plants, food, and more. Enjoy music by Dawn Larsen , Southerned Redeemed, and Sandy Banks while you shop.

The Market on Darlington Square also will hold a food drive for The Lord Cares. Bring a nonperishable food item, paper product, or financial donation for The Lord Cares. The most needed items are canned meats, canned fruit, dry milk, Jiffy Cornbread mix, and soap. All donations stay in Darlington.

“We want to make sure we fulfill the part of our mission to give back to the community and help the charitable groups that do so much for so many in the city,” Rock says.

The Market on Darlington Square will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Public Square in Darlington on Saturday, October 1. Find us online at

-This is from a Press Release.

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