Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership sponsored event

Official Event

Downtown Kalamazoo Chili Cook-Off

Downtown Kalamazoo’s Annual Chili Cook-Off is a community event and is how we’ve stayed warm on a cold Saturday for the past 15 years. The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is thrilled to partner with downtown businesses to provide a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience

Enjoy a walk through downtown Kalamazoo while trying chili from more than a dozen downtown businesses – don’t forget to vote for your favorite while you’re down there!

2021 Chili Cook-Off spoons will be available for purchase for $5 on the day of the event or can be pre-ordered online.


The safety of the community is very important to us, and the planning team has made a number of adjustments to the event with the input of the City of Kalamazoo and County Health Department. Outlined below are COVID precautions put in place for Chili Cook-Off:

  • Chili Cook-Off has been moved from inside individual businesses to an entirely outdoor event and the Kalamazoo Mall has been closed to traffic to provide more space to socially distance.
  • Extended the time frame of the event to allow more time for people to enjoy and promote social distancing
  • Attendees are expected to: wear masks when approaching and in front of tents and within 6 feet of others; follow the flow of traffic laid out at the event through signage.
  • Opportunities for person-to-person contact have been limited as much as possible:
    • Self-serve chili samples – no contact between server and taster
    • Spoons are available for purchase online only – you can pre-register or scan the QR code the day of to purchase.
    • Disposable spoons will not be offered
  • Hand Sanitizer will be available at check-in tents and all chili sample tents for the public to use.

If you are feeling sick or unwell, please stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.