Show Me Missouri State Chili Cook-Off in Clarksville set for June 11

chili cook off

Joe Cromer of New Orleans, La., samples Larry Wright’s “Wright Stuff” chili during a previous Show-Me Missouri State Chili Cook-Off. This year’s event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11 at Clarksville’s Riverfront Park. | Photo provided by Brent Engel

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. — Linda Blakey is happy to talk about chili all day, but don’t call it a soup or a stew.

“It’s a sauce. It’s chili sauce,” Blakely said in a press release. 

Blakey and her husband, Bill, are overseeing the 28th annual Show Me Missouri State Chili Cook-Off, for which Raintree Arts Council is the host from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Riverfront Park in Clarksville. Prizes of $1,500 will be awarded. Cooks will compete to move on to the world championship Sept. 23-25 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.  Admission is $3. Samples are 50 cents each. Also available will be vendors, music, raffles, cold beverages and other foods. 

“You will get to taste competition chili,” Blakey said. “The cooks are very good about samples. Come and eat, and get your belly full.”  

Categories are red, verde, homestyle and salsa. Each has its own general guidelines, but homestyle is as close to “anything goes” among the four. Cooks must provide about a quart of competition chili from each category entered. Volunteer judges award points based upon taste, spices and color. 

One new addition is the festival’s fire-breathing skeleton logo, which was designed by Blakey’s grandson, Bo Meers, of Lake St. Louis.  Musicians performing this year are Patrick Thayer, Ricky Fournier and The Original Chili Cook-Off Band featuring Jerry Epperson. The Clarksville Julep and the Apple Shed Red drinks will be available.  

Sponsoring partners with Raintree are:

  • Ameren Missouri
  • LaCrosse Lumber Company
  • Pike Rental Center
  • A&W Communication
  • Brown’s Auto Body
  • Cherry’s Bar and Grill
  • People’s Bank & Trust
  • Todd Hagemeier
  • Roy and Judi Bruce
  • County Market
  • Three C Ranch
  • Heartland Restoration
  • Gibson & Dehn
  • Rob’s Auto Care & Towing
  • Boland Chevrolet
  • Shelter Insurance Tim Jenkins
  • Family Drug/Bowling Green Pharmacy
  • Northeast Missouri Title.  

Anyone can enter the competition, but an International Chili Society membership is required. More information is available by logging on to and clicking on the “I want to cook” tab. Blakey can answer questions at 573-754-0335.  

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