Rough and Ready is bringing back its Secession Day Chili Cook-off on Sunday, June 4 after a 3 year COVID hiatus. The annual event celebrates the 1850 secession and 3-month life of the Great Republic of Rough and Ready.

Rough and Ready Chili Cook-off

The non-sanctioned Chili Cook-off, along with the musical headliners, is the centerpiece of the day as the event draws chili cookers and tasters from around the area, all interested in cooking or tasting some of the best chili in Nevada County.

Ten teams will be vying for this year’s juried Best Chili title and visitors will have the opportunity to sample the various chili recipes and cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. 2019 Winner Mondog’s Fire Roasted Red Chili will defend their title, along with previous competitors Who Let The Hogs Out, Fire in the Hole and Fiery Old Fart’s Chili. And newcomers Double J, Old West Warrior, Buckshot, TLC, Bigfoot Beans and 95975 Ways to Chili, will make their attempt to claim the Cook-off crown.

The event will be held in downtown Rough and Ready and will begin with a Firefighter’s Breakfast in the Fire House beginning at 8:30, cooked and served by members of the local Grange #795. Donations, which are gratefully accepted, will be shared by the Grange and the Fire Dept.

At 10:30 musical entertainment will start and continue until 2:30, headlined by local favorites Brandon Dannals and The PK and Pray Band in alternating hour segments.

Meanwhile, as the Chili Chefs prepare their concoctions, the town Blacksmith will be heating up the forge in the historic Fippin Blacksmith Shop. Our vendors and crafters will be displaying their wares in the Marketplace in front of the old Rough and Ready Market.

At 11am Chili Tasting Kits will go on sale for $5.00 and at noon, as the Judges meet to decide the winners, the public will be invited to visit the Chili Chefs and sample their best. If you’re still hungry (or thirsty) enjoy hot dogs from the Grange, beer from Bullmastiff Brewing or treats from Coco’s Lazy Dog Ice Cream.  You can also take your chance with some raffle drawings, pickup a “Rough and Ready Fire Station 59” Tee Shirt from the Fire Department or stock up on a variety of official, genuine “Great Republic of Rough and Ready” merchandise at the Blacksmith Shop.

Admission and parking is free. All proceeds benefit non-profit Rough and Ready organizations: The Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce, Grange #795, and the Rough and Ready Fire Department.