13th Annual Chilirhea Cook-Off Raises Money for Alzheimer’s Research


The 13th annual Chilirhea Chili Cook-Off will be held Saturday, March 10, at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville. The event pits more than 30 chili-cooking groups against one another in a test to see who will wear the title of best chili for 2018.

The event will feature live music, a silent auction and a number of other fun events for all ages. And during the process, funds will be raised to support Alzheimer’s Arkansas, the UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Broyles Foundation.

According to the event’s website, Chilirhea began as an excuse for a group of friends to reunite after graduating college. What began as a cook-off in a backyard turned into an event with hundreds of attendees and a number of charitable sponsors.

By 2014, the charity had exceeded its $35,000 goal. In 2015, the event brought in $70,000 for charity, and $82,000 in 2016. Last year, the event collected more than $100,000 for families affected by Alzheimer’s.

“I enjoy participating in an event that supports Alzheimer’s research,” said Olivia Till, a returning chili cook-off competitor. “It’s something that has personally affected my family and it’s a fun way to do so.”

The event will begin at noon on Saturday, March 10. Chili is guaranteed to attendees until 2 p.m., but the fun lasts until 5 p.m.

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