Thursday, August 20, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The International Chili Society’s world championship cookoff will be decided east of the Mississippi River for the first time.

The San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based nonprofit group announced Tuesday the 43rd annual competition will be held Oct. 9-11 in West Virginia. Organizers expect as many as 400 cooks will compete in red and green chili categories and in a salsa contest at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.

International Chili Society CEO and owner Carol Hancock calls Charleston, population 51,000, the “perfect-size city” to host the event.

The competition was held in Las Vegas last year and in Omaha, Neb., in 2007.

Organizers say at least five major sponsors are signed up, including the West Virginia Power baseball team.

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