33rd-Annual Idaho City Chili Cook-Off 

Idaho City, Sunday, Feb. 16

Forget what you think you know about gumbo, clam chowder, split pea or chicken noodle: Chili is America's soup. It gets the title because it's versatile. It can be mild enough so that grandma can eat it, or hot enough to burn through the hull of a battleship. It can be beefy enough to satisfy the most famished carnivore, or made without any animal products at all. Every year, Idaho City throws a chili cook-off, and it's one of the state's best end-of-winter festivals, stocked with more soup than the chefs can wag a ladle at, evaluated by both a panel of judges and attendees. There will also be beer, a raffle, live music, a silent auction and vendors. Skip the lines by buying a commemorative cup at the Idaho City Chamber of Commerce website.

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