Carthage crowds come for the chili


CARTHAGE, Mo. – Four-Staters packed Central Park in Carthage for some fierce competition and delicious chili Sunday afternoon.

The Sunday in the Park chili cook-off is a popular part of Carthage’s Maple Leaf Festival becauase it brings the community together for some food and fun.

KOAM spoke with the 2020 chili cook-off defending champion to learn what makes this competition such a hit with Carthage residents and festival visitors.

“(I love) just coming out here and having a great time with people. All the money raised is going to a great charity. It’s going to the Carthage Humane Society. You can’t beat that, just coming out here and having a good day,” said reigning chili champ Travis McKenney.

The chili cook-off was organized by the Carthage Water & Electric plant.

It raised money for charity by charging folks five dollars to taste as many chili entries as they liked. Tasters then voted on which chili they thought should take the crown.