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Bocas del Toro Chili Challenge. The Bocas Del Toro 11th Annual Chili Challenge will be held on Sunday, September 25 at the Bocas Brewery, on Isla Colón, where it will be “Chili on the Beach” day. A large crowd of expats, tourists and locals will have a chance to judge who gets the bragging rights to the best chili in the region. There are usually 10 teams with such exotic names as Chili Chikas, No Damn Beans Texas Chili, Toro Loco Snortin Chili, and the Red Hot Chili Peckors.
The teams must cook everything on site and you better believe every pot is totally different. The dilemma is whether to “bean or not to bean”. They start cooking at 9am and the public starts tasting at 2 p.m. with their $4 chili kit which comprises a cup, spoon and judging ticket. The event, created by long-time expats, John Lang and JB Seligman, 11 years ago, is non-profit. Commemorative Tshirts and coozies are available.
Local artist, Julie Jorgensen, has designed the fiery artwork for the event every year, along with “Basti John”. They also create some of the best trophies that are coveted on the local chili bragging scene. There is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and a showmanship trophy for the best booth presentation. Live music by “The Bookstore All Star Band” is enjoyed by all. September in Bocas is the dry season and the event on the beach is very enjoyable. Make plans to be at one of the most popular events in Bocas….come hungry!