Monona's 40th Chili Cook-Off

There’s something about chili that inspires top secret ingredients, wild experimentation, and family traditions passed down many generations.

Head to Ahuska Park on Saturday, September 30th from 11-2p for Monona’s 40th Chili Cook-Off – the longest running in Wisconsin.

Enter at the seven foot tall balloon sculpture commemorating our 40th year. Get your wristband for unlimited chili sampling. Choose your samples wisely – we’ll have up to 30 cook teams (that’s 30 – 1 oz samples of chili!) you’ll have available to choose from.  Expect flavors all over the board.  In previous years we’ve had traditional to extreme heat, green chili to creamy white, smoky to sweet and tropical.

Many of our chili cooks begin setting up and cooking before sunrise, and will be serving you themed chili in a decorated tent in full costumes to match the theme of their chili. Clearly there’s a lot of love that goes into this day!

Grab a picnic table to savor your samples and vote on your favorites, while enjoying classic and modern guitar rock from Madison’s own Sundogs.

Find additional fun eats in our concessions stand with brats, chili cheese dogs, mac and cheese, chili mac, Frito chili pies, and loaded baked potatoes.  Enjoy a locally crafted beer from our amazing friends at Delta Beer Lab.  Other cold beverages, beer, and hard cider will also be available.

Be sure to check out the on-site pop-up event hosted by Monona Public Library, tour the fire truck from Monona Fire Department, and try your hand at cornhole and jumbo lawn checkers.

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Cooking Teams



Want to make a weekend out of it?

Receive a 20% discount on your hotel room at Country Inn & Suites when you book by phone.

Use the reservation code – MESBA – to receive your discount:


With 40 years of chili events, we’ve heard some really special memories and seen some great photos.

Share yours with us – we’ll demonstrate the history and traditions for those new to the event – [email protected].

We’ll be using tickets for food and beverage purchases, all sales can be made at the event entrance or online.  One ticket = $2.

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