The Secession Day Chili Cook-off returns to Rough and Ready.  After a three year COVID-related hiatus, the popular event will again help residents and visitors celebrate the rich history of the Great Republic. The festivities are co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the local Grange #795.

The celebration will be held on Sunday, June 4 and event organizers are inviting Chili Chefs and  local vendors to participate.  If you think your chili is the best in Nevada County, sign up and test your chili against other competitors. Juried and People’s Choice awards are offered. Win bragging rights and cash prizes. Competition is open to individual teams, businesses and community organizations.  More information on event specifics will be provided as planning evolves.

For Chili Cooker and Vendor applications, visit or email:

On the first Sunday of June (June 4, 2023), for the first time in three years, Rough and Ready will gather to celebrate Secession Days with a special Chili Cook-off, a fundraising event for local organizations. Previously, the competition was held on the last Sunday in June, but the date was changed for 2019 and beyond.

The day begins with the Firefighter’s Breakfast in the Fire House, sponsored by the Rough and Ready Grange.  Meanwhile, Chili Chefs from around the area begin cooking their special concoctions.  Formerly a sanctioned event, the town decided in 2004 to “secede” from the International Chili Society and do it Rough and Ready Style, with Rough and Ready Rules!  Guests can purchase $5 Tasting Kits at 11am and begin tasting at noon, voting for their favorite chili along with the judges.

But wait…there’s more! Plans are being finalized, but may include The Original Saga of Rough and Ready melodrama, Blacksmith demonstrations in the historic Fippin Blacksmith Shop, a variety of vendors and crafters, music, additional food options from the local Grange, raffles, souvenir sales, and more…it’s fun for the whole family!