Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014

New at this Year's Rockabilly Chili Contest: Chili Pepper Races

WMSE's biggest fundraiser returns for year 12

By Evan Rytlewski
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WMSE's ever-growing Rockabilly Chili fundraiser will return to the Kern Center for a 12th year on Sunday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it's planned some considerable expansions. To reduce crowding, this year the competition, which features more than 50 Milwaukee-area restaurants and caterers, will be held on the first and second floors of the Kern Center. The extra space will be used to add more dining areas and beverage stations, as well as a live rockabilly band and a chili pepper race modeled after the Miller Park sausage races. WMSE volunteer Christina Ward has designed three custom-made pepper costumes.

For the first time this year, competitors from the Milwaukee Fire Department will participate in the contest. Six firehouses and operations centers will offer their best chili, which will be judged separately from the rest of the contest by a panel of local celebrity judges to be announced next month.

There will also be a children's area featuring arts and crafts.

Tickets for the 12th Annual Rockabilly Chili go on sale Friday, Jan. 10 at noon. Available online or at the WMSE studios, 820 N. Milwaukee St., advance tickets are $12 and include four chili samples. Day-of tickets are $15 and include two sample tickets. Children 10 and under get in free.
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