A legendary West Michigan chili cookoff that has been around for 36 years in Grand Rapids will return this year after a 4 year break.

Now who here in West Michigan doesn't love a great bowl of chili during the fall or our frigid winters? If you got a secret recipe you could be crowned chili champion while at the same time helping out some local charities.

According to WOOD, the Cottage Bar Chili Cookoff began back in 1981 and lasted until 2017 when the event just wasn't producing a profit and due to expenses went away. The chili cookoff is coming back with a new name, location and a couple West Michigan charities will be the benefactors of the event.

I don't know about you, but eating great chili and helping a local charity at the same time is a win, win in my book.

The Cottage Bar was well known for its chili cookoff. WOOD reported that former owner Lisa Verhil said, "we love the chili cookoff. I mean, when we weren't making money for a charity that's when we kind of stopped it because of expenses." Lisa's husband Dan Verhil said, "it's all done from scratch, all raw ingredients, it takes three hours to cook it. You can smell the aroma while they are cooking it, meanwhile, there is live music going on, it's a festive atmosphere.

The chili cookoff came back to life when nonprofit Fans of Valley Field approached the Verhil's about the idea and of course the two jumped at it.

You know, I make a pretty good chili that is unique, I may have to look into this myself...just sayin'.

They have come up with a new name for the cookoff, and since its going to be at Sullivan Field on Grand Rapids' West Side...how does the Chili Cookoff at the Ball Park sound? I think it has an excellent ring to it.

The skinny on the chili cookoff is, teams compete to make the best chili how ever they want based on two categories, 'Homestyle' and 'Unique', and judges will decide your fate.

If you want to be a part of this event, think late season tailgating, dress for the occasion since it is outside from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 6 at Sullivan Field. You can enter your team here. It's only $5 to attend the event with all the proceeds going to Fans of Valley Field and Kids' Food Basket.

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