Best chili in St. Joe?

Published 4:58 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

chiliST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Whether visitors like their chili mild or fiery hot, meat or in chili-inspired desserts or hot beverages, they will find more than a dozen ways to chase away the chill from 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29, in St. Joseph.

During this January “It’s Finally Friday” event, merchants and restaurants will offer samples of their favorite chili recipes in hopes of earning the 2016 Chili Pepper Award that is determined by popular vote.

“There is a suggested $2 per person or $5 for a family of four or more donation to register,” said Whitney Behnke, executive director of the sponsoring organization, St. Joseph Today. “A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen.”

Registrants will get a map of chili stop locations and will be entered in a drawing for a $25 St. Joseph Today gift certificate good at more than 40 locations. The drawing will be Jan. 30.

Tasters can also register and get a map on the day of the event at the Welcome Center, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Behnke said everyone that completes the chili tour and turns in their maps at the Welcome Center Jan. 29 will be entered to win in a drawing. The winner will receive a St. Joseph Prize Pack.

Behnke added that several non-chili locations are also “must stops” that evening because of their special sales and family-friendly entertainment. For updates about the Chili Tour and future “It’s Finally Friday” events, visit, or call (269) 985-1111.

St. Joseph Today is a membership-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to developing, producing and promoting events and businesses in St. Joseph, Mich. and its surrounding communities.