Louisiana Festivals Map

The Great Chili Challenge New Iberia, La Held annually, 1st Saturday of November

If you think great chili comes from Texas, think again! Louisiana has a rich Hispanic heritage that undoubtedly contributed to our love of spicy food – and a bowl of chili is as good a vehicle for the delivery of flavorful heat as any.

Entries to New Iberia’s Great Chili Challenge are judged in three categories: Family-Style (read: mild), Heart Healthy, and Hold on to Your Hat! And if that last category isn’t hot enough for you, add some TABASCO® Sauce to kick it up a notch.

Admission is free to the Great Chili Challenge, which is held in New Iberia’s City Park (300 Parkview Drive) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first Saturday of November each year. Families enjoy many chili booths as well as live music, arts & crafts, games and concessions, and children’s activities such as inflatable playgrounds and a rock wall.

But the star of the show is the amazing range of chili recipes. Each year, dozens of entrants vie for the Silver Bowl trophy that goes to the maker of the chili judged Grand Champion across the three categories.

And perhaps the best part of the challenge is enjoyed by the event’s attendees – each of the cook-off entries is available for purchase in tasting portions. So you can sample a variety and be a judge yourself, literally, as the “Tasters’ Choice” award is one of the event’s most coveted.