Cooks compete at the 20th annual Hanover Chili Cook Off in 2015.


The Hanover Chili Cook Off has added another competition to its list this year, bringing the number of competitive categories to five.

The Ghon Eckley Memorial Youth Cook Off, for all chefs under the age of 18, will take place at this year's cook off Sept. 4.

Eckley was the cook off's chief judge for a number of years, said event director John Loose.

He died suddenly eight weeks ago, Loose said, and the addition of this new youth cook off is a tribute to him.

Children are welcome to join the competition as long as they have an adult onsite to supervise management of the burner and movement of heavy pots, Loose said.

And as for all chefs at the competition, the chili must be cooked entirely onsite.

Chefs are given a three hour window to do so, Loose said.

A lot of food and fun is enjoyed at the Chili Cook Off, Loose said, and as always, the proceeds go to a worthy cause.

Last year the event raised $60,000 for local charitable organizations like the Hart Center, Guthrie Memorial Library, Hanover Area Council of Churches, Friends of Codorus State Park, Firetruck Fund and Adams County SPCA, Loose said.

And this year, weather permitting, they hope to collect even more donations.

Not only will the cook off host food, brews and stiff competition, but there will also be plenty of live music for attendees to enjoy.

Bands Macy K & the Oven Fresh Hot Delicious, Cledus Snow Mother Truckers and Dr. Slothclaw will all perform.

There will even be a one-man band touring the field, entertaining cooks, Loose said.

While the event is designed for visitors to have fun, these cooks mean serious business.

There are chili cooks registered from six states to compete.

The winner will advance and have a chance to win the International Chili Society World's Championship Chili Cookoff in Reno, Nevada, where the top chili cook will leave with a check for $25,000, Loose said.

To put your hat in the ring and enter any of the chili cook off competitions, visit the Hanover Chili Cook Off website or email Loose at

If you go 

What: The 21st Annual Hanover Chili Cook Off

When: September 4, 11 a.m.

Where: Good Field, Hanover 

Cost: $8.50 when you purchase tickets in advance, $10 at the gate

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