Tucson Fire Chili Cookoff — It has been more than 20 years that area firefighters have been serving up chili for a very good cause.
The Tucson Fire Fighters Local 479 chili cook-off benefits the Tucson Firefighters Adopt-A-Family Program, which assists needy families and children with clothing, food, basic necessities and toys throughout the holiday season. Last year’s event raised $75,000, said TFD Captain Sloan Tamietti, the cookoff coordinator.
Every year these first responders serve 750 gallons (more than 24,000 servings) of chili. More than 10,000 people typically come to the music and food festival. There’s also a kid zone, and fire prevention displays. And when it comes to the booths, firefighters from all over Pima County compete for best themes and decorations.
But really, getting back to the chili, expect a variety from spicy hot to veggie. The cost is $2 a serving. The fun runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Reid Park. There’s more, including chili dogs, eegees, Carmelo’s quesadillas (some filled with meat and chicken) and doughnuts.
This is the third year the cookoff has been held at Reid Park, the move from Tucson’s downtown giving the event much needed room to grow. Tamietti, the cookoff coordinator, said there will be a more festival feel with events for families, including jumping castles, a booth for blood pressure checks, CPR education, a fire prevention trailer, and a couple of vehicles on display.
The musical lineup includes the Turnouts, a band manned by retired and current firefighters, and La Paloma, a folklorico dance group.
And as always, each team will decorate their booths and will dress fitting the theme, he said, noting one will be a haunted house.