For the 33rd year running, it’s the biggest one-day event in the city — the Tustin Street Fair and Chili Cook-off.
Some 35,000 folks are expected at the street festival on Sunday, June 4. There, they can sample around 50 different chili offerings while engaging in nonstop contests all day long.
Try the pie-eating and jalapeno-munching challenges. Or line-dancing. Or even test your arm at a beer-stein-holding match. Maybe your vintage car will take first place in the car show at Enderle Center.
Of course, the main competitions involve chili. Pros with the Laguna Niguel-based International Chili Society will do the official judging, but everyone can have a say in People’s Choice. Ten bucks will get you 10 samples and a ballot.
“Obviously, the rules are a lot looser for People’s Choice,” said Marilyn Buescher, recreation supervisor for the city. “You can use canned chili and win. Who knows?”
But despite those just-for-fun perimeters, the first-place winner nabs serious money — $500.
This year’s festival offers a few new features, such as a watermelon-eating contest for kids in Peppertree Park. As always, adults can get their own fill — on the main stage at El Camino and 2nd Sreet.
Also new this year: craft beer and food served under a tent so visitors can take a shady break; free shuttle buses running every few minutes from the Columbus Tustin Gym parking lot at 17522 Beneta Way; and wine tasting for a dollar a sample.
Enjoy a variety of music at every corner, including Willie Nelson songs performed by the popular True Willie Band.
Proceeds from the event, which is sponsored by Smart & Final, fund local organizations. Last year’s Chili Cook-off raised more than $22,000.
“It’s become a tradition that’s fun for kids as well as their parents,” Buescher said. “Tustin is such a tight little community — everyone here takes pride in their city.”
If you go
When: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 4
Where: Old Town Tustin,…