On Saturday, February 9, 2019, Downtown Laurel will once again welcome over 3,000 hungry customers and 23 competition teams with their top secret chili recipes. The annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off is one of Laurel Main Street’s most popular events each year.
At 6:00 a.m. the teams will begin setting up and decorating their booths along Central Avenue. Teams are given one hour to set up and decorate before the real work begins. Come early to watch the teams chop and dice their way to victory! All of the teams will prepare their recipes from scratch as attendees look on, mouths watering with anticipation. The event officially begins at 11:00 a.m.
For just $10, you can enjoy an “all-you-can-eat” tasting bowl. For $25, enjoy a “bottomless” Carl Buchanan keepsake pottery bowl. These special bowls always sell out, so if you have your heart set on taking one home, be sure to get there early!
Our expert panel of judges will taste each entry and decide who wins the $1,000 prize in each category. Who are these experts you ask?
Meet the Judges
Sherri Marengo is a DJ and community relations director for iHeart Radio in Hattiesburg on SL-100 and 1037-WFFX, she is also a DJ weekends on 95KSJ in Mobile, AL and the host of Homegrown Country on K99 in Biloxi on Sunday nights.
Currently the president of Just Over the Rainbow Theatre, Sherri is an actor, director, stage manager, kid wrangler and technical director for local theater groups, and Vice-chair of Community Theatre on the board of directors of Mississippi Theater Association. She stays busy in the community volunteering her time and experience to help groups like Habitat for Humanity and The Petal Jaycees among others.
She and her husband Charlie, married 37 years, still live within walking distance of Panther Stadium and are members of Petal Harvey Baptist Church. They are parents to three grown children and 5 grandkids ages, 4 to 22.
Watch for her brand new podcast in the spring on iHeart Radio.
Randy Holland is the Sales Manager for Concrete Forming and Shoring Specialties Inc. of Laurel, MS and is a Life Member of the SERTOMA club of Laurel. He enjoys cooking and sampling dishes from fellow home cooks across the southeast. Randy and his wife of 32 years Debbie, have 2 sons, Kevin & Curtis
Roxanne “Roxie” Dunn has dabbled in the culinary arts all her life. Her mother was an Executive Chef with outstanding achievements across the country. Roxanne followed in her footsteps, working her way through family owned and self-owned restaurants and hotels in New
Orleans, Hilton Head, Jekyll Island, and Atlanta. She continued her career in the hospitality industry, consulting and managing restaurants and hotels throughout the country.
She has travelled abroad extensively and worked with “The Apple Club” in Italy for over a year. Roxanne resides in Laurel and studies under renowned Chef John Diggetts at The Loft on Central.
Andy MacDonald is an award-winning journalist working as Cuisine Editor for Lagniappe, a weekly newspaper out of Mobile, AL. He is the founding member of the bluegrass band Fat Man Squeeze and owner of Picker’s Paradise, a guitar store in the Mobile area, where he spends most of his time teaching and repairing instruments. Whatever is left of him goes to his three kids, Lucas, Graham and Henry and wife Katie.
At the end of this year’s event, we will draw the winner in our “split the pot raffle.” Tickets for the raffle are $10 per ticket or $40 for 5 tickets and can be purchased at Magnolia State Bank, from LMS members, or at the event.
Central Creativity is graciously opening their doors and offering educational children’s activities during the Chili Cook Off. Central Creativity is located on the corner of 6th Avenue and Sawmill Road, and is about a one-minute walk from the downtown festivities. For $5 per child, your kids can enjoy a day of hands-on experiments and take-home projects while you enjoy unlimited chili!
Magnolia State Bank will also offer a free hotdogs to children at the chili cook off who do not wish to eat chili.
Thank you to our incredible Sponsors and Producers!
Events like the Chili Cook Off just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Facade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in Downtown Laurel.
Our Signature Sponsor
The Chili Cook Off’s signature sponsor is Magnolia State Bank. We are so thankful for the financial support and helping hands they provide every year to make this event a successful one.
The City of Laurel
Jones County Chamber of Commerce
Jones County Board of Supervisors
Carl & Mandy Buchanan, Mississippi Power, B Clean LLC, Mike Axton, The Gables, Southern Beverage
Event producers provide in-kind support of the event by providing products, services or advertising to make the event a reality. Thank you to WBBN B95 Country, iHeart Radio and SL100, WDAM, and Studio5Fifty for helping to organize the event and to Central Creativity for providing the children’s activities.
Join us February 9, 2019 in Downtown Laurel for the 8th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!