This month in Downtown Toms River is set to be a spicy one. As we begin to look forward to the warmer days of Memorial Day weekend, it’s time to see what the best cooks in the state are cooking up for the Annual Chili & Salsa Cook Off. With a brand new category that will surely become one of the most coveted culinary prizes among area restaurants and businesses, there’s plenty to look forward to.
In addition to foodie events this month, Downtown Toms River is also home to a number of unique and creative businesses including the Downtown Shops @ 53 Main, a collection of clothing and art shops all situated under one roof (check out down below for more information!)
So if you haven’t been to Downtown Toms River in a while, it’s about time you checked it out to see what all the hype is about!
Local Businesses to Compete in New “Commercial Red Chili” Category in Annual Chili & Salsa Cook Off
It’s about that time of year again. No we’re not talking about summer or the beach… we’re talking about what has become known as the spiciest event on the Jersey Shore – Downtown Toms River’s 28th Annual Chili & Salsa Cook Off.
On May 20th from 11:00am – 5:00pm, Downtown Toms River will host the Annual Chili & Salsa Cook Off for the 28th time, one of the biggest and best chili festivals in the Garden State. Officially sanctioned by the International Chili Society (yes there is such a thing), competitors will show us their best chili and salsa skills in hopes of claiming the best in Red Chili, Chili Verde, or Salsa categories, all for a chance to compete in the World Championships.
New this year is the to the People’s Choice Categories is the Commercial Red Chili competition where local restaurants such as The Office Restaurant and Lounge, fire houses, vocational schools, etc. are invited to show off their skills, seeing who will be known as the best chili in town. It’s a chance for local restaurants to claim their moment in the spotlight and maybe even talk some chili smack!
The public will decide who reigns supreme in town in the Commercial Red Chili competition as well as the traditional red chili category, salsa, and best booth. As for the official ICF judges, they’re in for a strong competition. All participants must abide by official rules: red chili and chili verde can feature any kind of meat or combination of meats, but beans and pasta are strictly forbidden (but in the People’s Choice Categories they’re a must!)! As for the salsa, it must be homemade…well of course! Winners from all categories will take home up to $1,000 for first place!
Chili and salsa lovers can taste test their way through the best chili and salsa cooks from around the region at one of the biggest (and tastiest) events at the Jersey Shore for just $6 in advance and $7 at the door. Attendees will also enjoy live entertainment from the Jersey Shore’s hottest bands, rides for the children, and games. The hardest part of the day is going to be casting your vote!
One Stop Shopping at The Downtown Shops @ 53 Main in Toms River
Stroll in Downtown Toms River at any point during the week and you’re bound to end up at the Downtown Shops @ 53 Main. Offering a unique collection of retail shops, all located under one roof (one stop shopping at its best!) From unique clothing shops like Gorgeous Girlz Boutique and Sunrise Clothing Shop to pottery at Van Go Pottery Painting and local art at TRAC Artist Community Gallery, you’re bound to find something to love here. There’s even a Scrubs 2 Go for all of our favorite doctors and nurses. Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for a girls night out or some work clothes, the Downtown Shops @ 53 Main are the answer to your shopping wishes!
Stay tuned for next month’s What’s Happening in Downtown Toms River because it’s sure to be farmer approved!