Home » Features » This Year's 35th Annual Chili Cook-Off to Benefit the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie County


This Year's 35th Annual Chili Cook-Off to Benefit the Boys & Girls Club of St. Lucie County

A line of hungry Treasure Coast residents will form outside the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce on July 15 as attendees await admission to this year’s 35th annual Chili Cook-Off. The event draws more than 5,000 people each year to enjoy food, games and entertainment, with proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County and its mission for helping local youth.

“The Chili Cook-Off is a staple event for our community,” says Will Armstead, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County. “Thousands of people from across the Treasure Coast come out to enjoy great chili and have a great time, all while making a positive impact for the youth of St. Lucie County.”

Fort Pierce Westwood FFA used the theme “Titanic” last year.

More than 30 teams—from Christ Fellowship Port St. Lucie to iHeartMedia and beyond—will compete in the cook-off themed “Board Games.” Participants will use their creativity to decorate their booths and dress up in costumes that are representative of the games they’ve selected, like Monopoly and Operation.

While participants can win a trophy for Best Chili Booth and Best Chili Costume, the most prized award, the Challenged Trophy, is given to the team with the highest composite score in three categories, including chili, fundraising and showmanship.

St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners’ presented a “The Great Gatsby”-themed booth in 2016.

When it comes to concocting a perfect chili entry, most competitors don’t happen upon their recipes the day of the cook-off. Many participants work all year to nail down the ingredients for their chilies, to create clever booth spaces and to fundraise. “There is no telling which team will win until the day of,” says Alicia Marshall, director of marketing and special events at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County.

“We enjoyed being a part of the chili cook-off and plan on continuing to be part of it on an annual basis,” says Travis O’Neal, the campus pastor at Christ Fellowship Port St. Lucie. “The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County was a pleasure to work with, and we want to be a part of supporting the work they are doing in the city of Port St. Lucie. We would encourage anyone to attend this wonderful event.”

Stuart Magazine interns Ariana Heathcock, Zach Wilcox and Alexandra Fedele posed with Fort Pierce Yacht Club, which used a “The Lion King” theme, at last year’s event.

Guest can purchase a Chili Sampler Kit, which includes five sample cups to taste any chili from the 30-plus teams. After tasting each chili, participants can submit a ballot to vote for the People’s Choice Award winner.

Entertainment will also include a chili-eating contest, performances by Boys & Girls Clubs groups, dance performances, face painting and talent shows for kids hosted by Little Miss Pepper and Mr. Pee Wee.


For guests, admission and parking is free.

For contestants, entry is $150.


Havert L. Fenn Center, 2000 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce


Harbor Community Bank - Battleship

Fort Pierce Westwood FFA - Candyland

Fort Pierce Yacht Club - Chinese Checkers

St. Lucie County Firefighters Benevolent - Chutes & Ladders

Fort Pierce Elks Lodge #1520 - Clue

All Smiles Family Dentist - Hungry Hungry Hippos

93.7 GYL/ B94.7 Fresh Country - Jenga

Hoskins Turco Lloyd & Lloyd - Jeopardy

Christ Fellowship Port St. Lucie - Monopoly

St. Lucie Mets - Mouse Trap

HCA Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and HCA St. Lucie Medical Center - Operation

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office - Police Precinct

State Farm, Christopher Melly - Risk

Community United Methodist Church - Scrabble

City of Fort Pierce - Temple Run

iHeartMedia - The Game of Life

Seacoast National Bank - Twister

Mary Kay  - Wheel of Fortune


Treasure Coast Ears, Nose & Throat St. Lucie Mets Waste Pro Port St. Lucie Police Department St. Lucie County Firefighters Benevolent Harbor Community Bank Coca-Cola Beverages of Florida Fort Pierce Utilities Authority Nelson Family Farms Centerstate Bank All Smiles Family Dentistry John Jacobs Construction St. Lucie County Fair Association

For more information or to reserve a booth, visit bgcofslc.org or call 772.460.9918.