Big Chili Contest heats up this weekend

From left: Alex Roan, Laura Beckman, and Bill Hart of The Black Dog took second place in the best professional chili competition in 2015.

MVY Radio’s Big Chili Contest is in its 31st year, and will likely draw upwards of a thousand Islanders and day-trippers alike for one hot time on Saturday, March 25, at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs.

The P.A. Club sets up tents outdoors to accommodate the cooking contestants and the musical lineup, which this year includes Mariachi Mexico Lindo Band, the BaHa Bros. (a Jimmy Buffet tribute band returning for its seventh Big Chili appearance), Syndicate (from Cape Cod), and DJ Alvzie, who returns for his seventh appearance. Jenny Johnson, a celebrity judge from NESN’s “Dining Playbook,” marks her sixth Big Chili appearance.

Not a chili lover? The P.A. Club offers other food options, such as hamburgers, fries, and onion rings. Of course, there will be plenty of cold beverages available to quench the inevitable thirst brought on by spicy chili.

All the money raised from food and alcohol sales is donated to a scholarship fund of the P.A. Club. The $35 cost of admission benefits the Red Stocking Fund, which provides holiday gifts to Island children.

On the day of the contest, buses will pick up attendees at the Steamship Authority in Vineyard Haven beginning at 10:15 am, free of charge, and transport them to the P.A. Club. Buses will also return them to the SSA. There will be multiple cab companies onsite in Vineyard Haven and at the P.A. Club.

Doors open at 10:30 am, and music plays from 11:30 am to 6 pm. Tickets are available at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs, the Ocean View in Oak Bluffs, Trader Fred’s in Edgartown, and Shirley’s True Value Hardware in Vineyard Haven. On the mainland, tickets are on sale at Woods Hole Market in Woods Hole, the Quahog Republic in Falmouth, and the Whaler’s Tavern in New Bedford. For more information, visit