Calvin VanNess

Calvin VanNess, owner of Sweet Caroline’s BBQ on Tioga Street, Wellsboro, is preparing his award-winning Smoked Brisket Chili for this Saturday’s Chili with a Chance for Chocolate Taste-Off.

For the first time since the Chili With A Chance For Chocolate Taste-Off was held during the first Wellsboro Winter Celebration in 2015, there will be a chili made with Belgian chocolate.

The taste-off is this Saturday, Feb. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Wellsboro. There will be 15 great chilis to taste at 15 different sites and an opportunity to win one or more of the 15 fun and unique baskets of chocolates.

The names of this year’s chilis are: Smoked Brisket Chili, Pollo Frijoles Negros Chile, One Hot Mess, Cincinnati Chili, Hawaiian 5-O Chili, Andouille Prime Rib Chili, Black and Gold Chili, Contractors Chili, Highland Chocolates Chili, Mammy’s Turkey Chili, Sweet and Smoky Pineapple Chipotle Chili, Texas Tater Chili, Miss Sassy Chili, One Bourbon, One Shot, One Beer Chili and Chupacabra Chow.

Those who want to taste the chili and select the winners can purchase a taste-off passport for $5 at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 114 Main Street anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays through this Friday, Feb. 14. Each passport includes the names and locations of businesses and a church hosting the chili taste-off entries.

Taste-off passports will also be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, the day of the event, in front of Penn Oak Realty at 65 Main Street.

Special signs will be placed outside each chili tasting site making it easy to spot the chili and basket of chocolate locations.

Passport holders can visit as many of the 15 tasting sites as they wish and show their passport number to enter the drawing for that site’s basket of all types of chocolates valued at $25.

“We limited the number of passports to 400 due to the event’s popularity to ensure that passport holders have a chance to taste all of the chilis if they want to,” said Jim Howe, organizer.

When tasters finish, they will cast votes for their three favorites by turning in their marked passports at any chili tasting site. Votes will be counted and the winners announced.

All proceeds from the taste-off will benefit rescued animals and programs offered by Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries.

For more information or to purchase a taste-off passport, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 570-724-1926.