HAVELOCK, N.C. (WNCT) – The 40th annual Havelock Chili Festival is coming back bigger than ever after a two-year hiatus.

The festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Walter B. Jones Park in downtown Havelock.

In addition to the chili cooks competing for top honors in Red Chili and People’s Choice divisions, over 85 vendors, artisans and nonprofit organizations will be on hand selling food, drinks, crafts and merchandise and raising awareness about their various causes and missions. 

Festivities kick off at 10 am with students from the Havelock High School Marching Band playing the national anthem, followed by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Brass Band on the main stage, providing a high-energy performance to set the tone for the festival. Bridge Atlantic takes the small stage at 2 pm with their brand of soulful rock and pop covers.

Eastern Carolina’s hottest dance show band, Carl Newton’s Review out of Wilmington, starts its headlining set at 4:30 pm to keep the party going until 7:30 pm.

In addition to food, shopping and music, the Havelock Chili Festival will host K9 dogs and their handlers from the Craven County Sheriff’s Department doing demonstrations throughout the day. There will also be displays from the Havelock Fire Department, the Havelock Police Department, the City of Havelock Public Works, and Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative. Fun activities include a dunk booth and walk-through storytime.

Havelock Chili Festival visitors will be able to choose from a wide variety of foods including lumpia, Thai Asian Cruise Food, Pacific Island fusion, turkey legs, burgers, hot dogs, fries, funnel cakes, chicken wings, Italian ice, shaved ice, kettle corn, gourmet beef jerky, boba tea and, of course, chili! There will be an ATM on site and credit cards can be used to buy chili tickets and HCF souvenirs.

Proceeds from the annual community event also benefit nonprofit organizations in our local area. In the last five years of the Havelock Chili Festival, the all-volunteer HCF Committee has had the pleasure of giving out over $50,000 to the local community.

The community event is planned and executed entirely by volunteers both on the Havelock Chili Festival Committee and from local nonprofits, schools and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Generous corporate sponsors, in addition to support from The City of Havelock and MCAS Cherry Point, are also invaluable to ensuring the success of the Havelock Chili Festival every year.

In 2019, over $11,500 in funds were distributed to a variety of organizations, schools, and causes, including $1,000 in scholarships and $2,000 in STEM grants to Havelock Elementary and Havelock Middle schools.

For more information, visit www.chilifestival.org or Facebook: Havelock Chili Festival.