Annual chili cook-off deadline extended to Friday

The deadline for restaurants to enter the 22nd annual North Country Chili Cook-Off has been extended from Dec. 31 to Friday.

“The extension was a result of a desire by the event’s planning committee to give more time for potential participants to register, understanding how busy the holiday season was for some,” said Jeremiah S. Papineau, director of communications and foundation director at the Volunteer Transportation Center.

The annual event benefitting the Volunteer Transportation Center is typically held at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown on the first Saturday of February. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made by its organizers to pursue a way to host the event in a way that would follow New York state mandates and adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The 2021 version of the cook-off is focusing only on the “Professional” category and at participating restaurants throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Instead of a one-day event, the 2021 version of the cook-off will be hosted during the entire month of February in a “pub crawl” format, where those wishing to sample and vote on their favorite entries may do so at restaurants which will be featured in a program circulated by the VTC.

The cook-off committee is in the process of seeking restaurants interested in participating in the event, as well as sponsors. Those interested in participating or sponsoring the 22nd Annual North Country Chili Cook-Off may reach out to Mr. Papineau at 315-755-2918 or via email at

The new Friday deadline is to ensure chefs and sponsors are listed in the program for the event which will be both available online as well as printed and distributed.

The event raises funds to support the transportation of Veterans and their family members by VTC volunteers.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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