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Westport Gears Up For Annual Pre-Super Bowl Chilifest

Jim Keenan, the Chilifest founder.
Jim Keenan, the Chilifest founder. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – Tickets are selling fast to Chilifest, the first food festival of 2015. Chilifest is a pre-Super Bowl event that takes place on Feb. 1, at Bedford Middle School in Westport from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We're thrilled to be bringing back Chilifest,” said Jim Keenan, event organizer. “We tested Chilifest in the fall of 2011 and despite the freak snow storm we had that October, people came out despite fallen trees and wires. Chili fans are a hearty breed.”

Chilifest will take place on Super Bowl Sunday when its sister event Chowdafest was held the past last six years.

“It's been a tradition for foodies to come out in throngs to Chowdafest instead of hanging around their home all day to either have friends come over or go out to friend's homes to watch the Super Bowl that evening. Chowdafest got so big we had to move it outdoors in the fall and we didn't want to strand thousands of foodies from their tradition so we decided to hold Chilifest in it's place,” Keenan added.

A new ingredient to Chilifest is the inclusion of a local firehouse chili category that features fire departments from Fairfield, Norwalk, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton. The category is sponsored by Local Kitchen & Beer Bar of Norwalk and Fairfield to remind people to support their local fire department.

The roster of competing restaurants has also been finalized and includes Black Cat Grille (Redding), Boat Yard BBQ and Grill (Stamford), Bobby Q's (Westport), Cask Republic (New Haven, Stamford), Chef's Table (Fairfield), Chilibomb (Fairfield), Geronimo's (Fairfield, New Haven), Liquid Lunch (Milford, Shelton), Little Pub (Greenwich, Ridgefield, Wilton), Naked Greens (Norwalk, Wilton), Simply Delicious (Norwalk) and Southport Brewing Co. (Branford, Milford, Southport).

Tickets bought online by Jan. 31 are just $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-12. Tickets purchased at the door will be $15. Tickets can be purchased online at: .

Chilifest benefits the Turtle Fund, which seeks to promote the education of young people in art, music, theater, skilled craft and other creative pursuits in order to create a rich cultural heritage for tomorrow.

Chilifest is sponsored by Aitoro Appliances, The Greens at Cannondale, Local Kitchen & Beer Bar, Stop & Shop, US Foods, Volvo of Westport and WEBE 108.

For more information about Chilifest visit or email Jim Keenan, at .

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