Chili Challenge

Next date: Friday, October 11, 2024 | 06:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Lenexa Chili Challenge participant stirring chili in Old Town

Lenexa Chili Challenge logo This free foodie festival heats up Friday night with live music and a fireworks show. On Saturday, grab your spoon at the gate to feast on your fill of chili, hot wings and salsa samples. Face painters, balloon artists and live music will be present both days. Little chefs can take part in the Kids Kornbread Contest Saturday morning.

About 200 teams compete in our chili, hot wings and salsa contests in hopes of taking home the Grand Champion prize. Teams host private parties on Friday night and offer free food samples to everyone on Saturday (while supplies last).

Register a team in 2024

Returning teams from 2023

Register from July 8, 2024, at 8 a.m. – July 28, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

  • Your team’s head cook must be the person to complete registration.
  • Once payment is received, your team’s participation is official.
  • Please review your receipt and confirm all information is correct.

New teams

Any available team booth spots will open for general registration Aug. 5, 2024, at 8 a.m..

  • Open booth spaces are on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Registration will close once 170 booth spaces are filled.
  • A waitlist will automatically be created in case a booth space becomes available.

Know a team already competing?

  • You may share a booth space with another team, so long as the head cook of the booth space agrees.
  • To join the competition, the head cook of the current booth space must reach out to to start the process.

Registration instructions

Register online

  1. Sign in under “Account Login” in the top right corner. If you do not have an account, please create an account first.
  2. Select the shopping cart next to Chili Challenge Contestant Registration.
  3. You will be asked several registration questions.


You can register for each of the following categories:

  • Traditional chili (no beans)
  • Homestyle chili
  • Hot wings
  • Salsa

Contest results 2023

Complete results 

Photos of winners


  • Grand Champion: Howlin' at the Spoon (Olathe, KS)
    • Head Cook: Wade Schneider
  • Reserve Grand Champion: Men of Erin (Shawnee, KS)
    • Head Cook: John Kindel
  • Third Place Overall: Lord of the Beans (Lenexa, KS)
    • Head Cook: Nick Gay

Traditional Chili Division

  • First Place: Men of Erin (Shawnee, KS)
    • Head Cook: John Kindel
  • Second Place: Pico De Carley (Olathe, KS)
    • Head Cook: TJ Carley
  • Third Place: Moe Dangie Hillbilly Chili 3 (Lee's Summit, MO)
    • Head Cook: Chris Nix

Home Style Chili Division

  • First Place: T-Rex Chili-a-sore (Leavenworth, KS)

    • Head Cook: Rex Walker

  • Second Place: Chili Gone Wild (Leavenworth, KS)

    • Head Cook: Jeff Gilliland

  • Third Place: Pico De Carley (Olathe, KS)

    • Head Cook: TJ Carley

Hot Wings Division

  • First Place: C&C Colon Cleanser (Shawnee, KS)

    • Head Cook: Seth Cohen

  • Second Place: Muchos Gaseous (Fort Leavenworth, KS)

    • Head Cook: Marc Lassalle

  • Third Place: T's Country Kitchen (Lane, KS)

    • Head Cook: Ted Moore

Salsa Division

  • First Place: Chili Monsters (Overland Park, KS)

    • Head Cook: Paula Conley

  • Second Place: Good Enough (Olathe, KS)

    • Head Cook: Jerret Perrin

  • Third Place: Xeno Chili (Stilwell, KS)

    • Head Cook: Tom Haymaker

Kids Kornbread Contest

  • First Place: Sedona & Oslos Bestest Cornbread

    • Head Cook: Sedona Stewart

  • Second Place: Peyton

    • Head Cook: Peyton Brown

  • Third Place: Carley Cornbread Cookers

    • Head Cook: JR Carley

JDRF Fundraising Award

  • First Place: Moe Dangie Hillbilly Chili (Excelsior Springs, MO)

  • Second Place: Wrong Side of the Tracks (Lenexa, KS)

  • Third Place: Master Basters (Lenexa, KS)

Event schedule

Friday, Oct. 11, 2024

6 p.m.

  • Gates open to the public

6 to 9 p.m.

  • Face painter and balloon artist

7 to 8 p.m.

  • Live music: TBD

8 p.m.

  • Fireworks display (weather permitting)

8:30 to 10 p.m.

  • Live music: TBD

10 p.m.

  • Gates closed to the public

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2024

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Gates open to the public.
  • Free samples available from teams, while supplies last
  • Kids Kornbread Contest turn-in, Lenexa Senior Center
  • Turn-in and Judging, Gym at Lenexa Community Center

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Face painters and balloon artists

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Live music: TBD

4 p.m.

  • Contest winners announced

Kids Kornbread Contest

The Lenexa Chili Challenge is a family event, and our Kids Kornbread Contest gives your kids the opportunity to get involved in the fun!

How to enter

The contest is open to kids age 12 and under.

Register online

  • Limited to the first 30 kids registered. (Online registration will close when registration is full.)
  • Walk-up entries will be accepted if open spots remain on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2024.
  • Bring your child’s cornbread entry at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, to the Lenexa Senior Center, 13425 Walnut St.
    • Make sure you turn in at least six servings in a disposable container.
    • Your child’s entry will be judged on creativity, appearance and taste.


We will announce the winners with the chili contest awards on stage at approximately 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2024. The top three finishers will receive a ribbon, kids’ apron and a gift card.

Frequently asked questions

Where should I park?

You can park on any public street. There is limited space available in the Lenexa Community Center parking lot. We will not have shuttles for this event.

Where is handicapped parking?

A limited number of handicap-accessible parking is available in the Lenexa Community Center parking lot and in the north Old Town parking lot.

What activities are available to the public?

On Friday night, many of the teams host private parties. As a general visitor, you can enjoy live music, purchase food and a variety of drinks from vendors and watch our fireworks show.

On Saturday, teams offer free chili samples beginning at 10 a.m. until they’re gone. You can also enjoy live music, children’s face painting and balloon twisting or purchase food and drinks from vendors.

What types of concessions are available?

You can purchase a variety of food and drink items from our vendors. 

Can alcohol or coolers be brought in?

No. You are not allowed to bring in alcoholic beverages. We allow competition teams to bring in alcoholic beverages during the check-in process. A variety of alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the vendor area and may be carried throughout the competition grounds.

Are dogs allowed?

Only service dogs are allowed at the event.

Can I ride my bike, bring my skateboard or other motorized vehicle?

Bikes, skateboards and motorized vehicles are not allowed in the event. Exceptions are wheelchairs or other devices needed by people with disabilities.

Road closures

To maintain a safe area and ensure access for emergency personnel, several roads in the Old Town area will be closed to traffic or have restricted access between Friday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 a.m. to Saturday, Oct. 12, 2024, at 6 p.m.

Road closures map will be available closer to the event.

Event sponsors

Williams Foods logo

Major Sponsors

EverFast Fiber Networks logo   101 The Fox logo

Platinum Sponsors

Community Builder Sponsors

  • Block Real Estate Services

Gold Sponsors

  • The LoFTS at City Center

Event status

To find out whether an event is canceled or delayed, check our notification line below or call 913.477.7170.


  • Friday, October 11, 2024 | 06:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 12, 2024 | 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM


Old Town Lenexa, Santa Fe Trail Drive & Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS, 66215, View Map

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