Bigger and better

Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. Photo by Seth Rubinroit/TMT

Chili Cook-Off promised

The 27th annual Chili Cook-Off and Carnival will include a variety of vendors, entertainment and activities. There will also be a car raffle.

By Nora Fleming / Special to The Malibu Times

This weekend’s Chili Cook-Off and Carnival will be the last at Legacy Park, a property so closely connected to the event that until recently it was known as the Chili Cook-Off site. The future of the annual Labor Day Weekend tradition is unknown. But for now, the Malibu Kiwanis Club is preparing for a four-day event beginning Friday with more food vendors, carnival rides and larger amounts of chili than in past years.

Roughly 10 to 15 vendors will be participating this year, in what is the 27th edition of the Malibu festival. Nearly half the vendors are returning and half are new, Kiwanis Club President Sal Cirnigliaro said. Additional food selections, such as a Mexican food and barbeque vendors, will be new features. A skateboard exhibit by Bobby Woods with tricks and lessons for children, has been added this year. There will also be musical entertainment.

Cirnigliaro said there will be a greater selection of chili than there was last year becase of the increased number of vendors. This is the second year the event will be judged by locals rather than by the International Chili Society, which made rules about the ingredients used in the chili and the amount that could be made. This resulted in more non-local than local contestants. Most of this year’s contestants are from Malibu and the surrounding area.

“This isn’t all about people who want to go onto wherever the contest takes them.” Cirnigliaro said. “This is local, Malibu chili. We want people to come, have a great time, taste a lot of crazy chili and get ready to go back to school.”

Cirnigliaro said the club decided last year to make it more of a local event, with local contenders and no restrictions on the amount of chili that could be made, to meet high demands for chili and because of complaints about chili running out in past years.

Roseanne Cirnigliaro, club treasurer, said people should aim to come to the event before 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday when the chili will be available. She said some guests have tried to get chili at the end of the event and complained that there was none left.

The entry fee is $10. Food tickets for vendors and carnival tickets for rides can be purchased at the event. Children under 10 are free. Proceeds are used to support the Kiwanis Club’s various causes.Cirnigliaro said through an “open door” policy to help local charities, the Kiwanis Club has supported Malibu Little League, the Miss Malibu Pageant, high school scholarships and the booster club.

This year, the club is also hosting its traditional car raffle for a 2008 Porsche Cayman from Beverly Hills Porsche. Four airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States are the second prize.

Club members have been at Malibu Colony Plaza on weekends selling tickets, which cost $100. They will continue to sell tickets until the raffle drawing at around 5 p.m. on Sunday. Roseanne Cirnigliaro said the chance of winning the car is roughly one in 900.

The Chili Cook-Off is ending its run at the current site after this year because the construction of Legacy Park is slated to start early next year. Cirnigliaro said other sites are being looked at for next year’s event, but “everything is up in the air. We’re going to have to get creative and figure out what we’re going to do.”

The festivities will kick off with the carnival on Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The carnival and chili contest will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the carnival continuing until 10 p.m. both days. The carnival will take place again on Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.