ITHACA, N.Y. — Restaurateurs, students, families, and everyone in between packed into the commons Saturday afternoon for the 19th Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-off.

Ladles flew furiously, dishing out chili concoctions to fit all kinds of taste buds and dietary restrictions (this is Ithaca after all). This year, there was even a rival chili event – an “anti-capitalist” chili booth serving chili for free.

Check out these photos from today. (All photos by Mike Blaney unless indicated otherwise.)

Eli poses by the Chi Phi chili booth.
William Metro performs magic on the commons.
Downtown Ithaca Alliance Marketing Director Allison Graffin and Intern Jenna Mortenson prepare chili for the blind taste-testing by judges.
Chili being prepared for the blind taste testing.
Judges score chili samples after a blind taste test.
An alternative event, the “anti-capitalist” chili festival was held in Dewitt Park, organized by Food Not Bombs.
Marietta, of Freeville, stands in front of the Foods Not Bombs chili booth.
Food Not Bombs Volunteer Sonia Gonzalez prepares free chili.
Tompkins legislator Martha Robertson at the chili cook-off.
Participants in the beard contest (Photo by Jennifer Wholey)
Willa Capper, Rachel Connor, Molly Ferguson, and Justin Zelamsky sing in the “Chili idol” contest.

Mike Blaney

Mike Blaney is the executive director and co-founder of The Ithaca Voice.