MADISON - Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois will host the 52nd annual World Championship Chili Cook-off this weekend (September 29-30). This marks the first time the world championship will be held in the St. Louis-Metro East region. The event will be held each day from noon to 6 p.m.

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Originally founded by automotive and motorsports legend Carroll Shelby, the WCCC (www.chilicookoff.com) is one of the most public-friendly competitive cooking events in America. It is the highlight of the year for thousands of cooking teams and countless “chiliheads” who follow the competitions from coast-to-coast in their quest to be crowned the World Champion Chili Cook. These contenders are also cooking for substantial prize money, including $25,000 and $20,000 for the two top cooking categories.

This two-day festival is expected to attract more than 10,000 spectators to Gateway Motorsports Park. Attendees can expect a two-day event packed with chili tasting from more than 300 champion chili cooks and 20 local restaurants, beer tasting of 100 craft brews, four live music performances each day and a professional ACO® cornhole tournament (also open to non-professionals).

Sponsors include BUSH’S® Chili Beans, KSHE-95 + 92.3 (Hubbard Media), Sauce Magazine, Budweiser® CUTCO®, Gaslight Studios, McCarthy Spices, ACO® and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

The World Championship Chili Cook-off is produced by ICS Chili, Inc. (International Chili Society), which sanctions nearly 150 cook-offs throughout the year in order to qualify the WCCC contestants who will compete in this weekend’s event. More than $1 million is raised annually through these ICS cook-offs to benefit non-profit organizations nationwide. Since the company’s inception in 1967, close to $92 million has been raised and donated.

52nd annual World Championship Chili Cook-off

September 29-30

Gateway Motorsports Park (700 Raceway Blvd., Madison, Illinois)

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Noon to 6 p.m. both days.

Unlimited chili tasting adults: $15.

Unlimited chili tasting children: $5.

10 five-ounce beer samples (must be 21 years of age): $15.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at chilicookoff.com or at the track.

What to expect: 300 champion chili cooks, 100 craft brews, live bands, cornhole tournament.

For more information on ICS Chili Inc., please contact president Scott Toland at stoland@icschili.com or (805) 857-5555.

For more information on Gateway Motorsports Park, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.gatewaymsp.com. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

About Gateway Motorsports Park

Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park's facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue. Gateway Motorsports Park was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from St. Louis Attractions Association.

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