STAMFORD, Conn. -- Does your youngster like seeing firetrucks up close and personal? And do you like chili? If so, head to Stamford on Sunday, Nov. 6 when The Stamford Museum & Nature Center will host its annual Touch-a-Truck & Chili Cook-off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event will have an array of trucks and specialized vehicles from Stamford's police, fire and EMS departments, as well as Connecticut Transit and privately owned big rigs.
Kids will get the opportunity to find out how these vehicles work, what purposes they serve, and even to climb inside a few.
Also, under a nearby tent on the center's scenic meadow picnic area, families can sample some of the finest chili cooked up by local chili experts and cast their votes for “the Best Chili in Stamford.”
This year's Stamford Charity Chili Cook-off promises to be the biggest ever, according to a release from the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. The 16 competitors chosen will include teams from five local restaurants, such as BarBQ, Sign of the Whale and Johnny Utah’s.
Along with home cook amateurs for top honors include Stamford Mayor David Martin and the defending champs: Students from the J.M. Wright Technical High School Culinary Arts.
The recipes the contestants will be serving up are “trade secrets” until the Cook-off, but attendees can expect a mouth-watering array of chili concoctions, from organic to white, turkey, venison, and vegetarian. Some will be mildly spiced, while others will be packing plenty of heat.
Contestants must provide enough chili to serve a taste to upwards of 500 people (about 10 gallons each), with the top three vote-getters receiving trophies, cash prizes, and bragging rights for the entire year.
Stamford resident Elisa Gorman of New View PR placed third last year, beating Mayor Martin, in good fun and she expects the bragging will continue.
This year’s Touch a Truck & Stamford Charity Chili Cook-off will also feature live music from local acoustic guitarist and Cancer Survivor Charlie Scopoletti. Stamford radio station WSTC AM1400 will be broadcasting from the event, and several locally popular food trucks will be on hand to round out the dining options for Touch a Truck attendees
The suggested donation for admission to the Stamford Charity Chili Cook-off is $10 per person or the donation of a bag of non-perishable food items. Kids ages 10 and younger get in free to Chili Cook-off.
A separate gate admission to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center is required for non-members. Over the past eight years, the Stamford Charity Chili Cook-off has collected more than 8,000 pounds of food and donated more than $10,000 to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is located at 39 Scofieldtown Road. For more information call (203) 322-1646 or visit www.stamfordmuseum.org/ .