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The International Chili Society Now Accepting Applications For 2021 Sanctioning

After almost a year of postponing chili events and delaying certification of new ones, the International Chili Society (ICS) announced today that it is once again accepting applications for chili events seeking professional sanctioning for the 2021 season and beyond.

ICS, which typically sanctions more than 100 events a year, was forced to cancel its World Championship Chili Cookoff (WCCC) in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we canceled many qualifier events that lead up to the championship. Typically, more than 200 chili teams gather in the fall to celebrate their local victories by trying to win significant prizes and money at the WCCC.

“Last year was a tough year for chili events all across the nation,” commented Mike McCloud, President of ICS. “But now that we can see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we are excited to announce that Chili Nation will be firing up the stoves again as we head into our 54th Annual Championship season.”

That event will occur September 17-19 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. ICS decided to relocate from Des Moines, Iowa, to Myrtle Beach for the 2020 season because of the better weather and numerous recreational activities in the beach-front community.

Becoming an officially sanctioned ICS event gives cook-offs an extra level of judging credibility while also securing a spot for the event’s winner(s) at the WCCC. Additionally, it provides contest organizers structure and guidance by allowing contests to follow ICS’s well-established rules and regulations. From church groups to civic groups to professional chef challenges, the ICS can sanction all types of events. The organization was started in 1967 by legendary car designer Carroll Shelby and friends. It has raised over $100 million for local charities while also delighting chili fans everywhere with its famous people’s choice voting.

The ICS cooking season follows a calendar year. Therefore, newly sanctioned events taking place in 2021 will be qualifiers for the 2022 WCCC. The four key categories for the 2021 cooking season are Traditional Red, Chili Verde, Salsa, and Homestyle (open to any chili).

To learn more about the ICS and its chili categories, visit To download the application, click here. Organizers of events should submit their completed applications to via email.

To learn how to enter the competition or judge the entries, follow the International Chili Society on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram (@ICSChili). To learn more about the event itself, follow World Championship Chili Cook-Off on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the International Chili Society 

Since 1967, the International Chili Society (ICS) has been bringing people together over one of America’s most fabulous culinary creations. ICS sanctions more than 100 events a year nationwide with one mission – to continuously improve chili while raising money for charities and nonprofits. More than $100 million has been submitted for charities by the chili arena since starting ICS. To celebrate each year’s pro-chili season, ICS holds a World Chili Championship Cookoff (WCCC) and crowns World Champions. To see previous winners, click here.

Alli Sparks

International Chili Society