First South Bank Brings Back the Homestyle Chili Cookoff

Dust off your aprons and get your signature seasonings because the NC Pickle Festival is once again bringing back the Homestyle Chili Cookoff, presented by First South Bank and Goldsboro News-Argus.

Last year, six teams competed in the inaugural Homestyle Chili Cookoff and after tasting such sweet success, we’ve decided to bring it back for festivalgoers to enjoy for a second year.

Sanctioned by the International Chili Society, the winner of this competitive event will be eligible to advance to the ICS World’s Championship Homestyle Chili Cookoff, as a North Carolina Homestyle regional champion. Per the ICS rules, a minimum of ten teams must compete in the cookoff. If you think you’ve got the winning recipe, register here.

If you are lucky (and talented) enough to advance, you’ll also be eligible to win cash prizes in categories such as People’s Choice and Showmanship. Cash prizes include $300, $150, and $75 to the top three teams, the People’s Choice winner will take home $300, while the Showmanship category has a $75 prize.

If your chili is top-notch and ready to be enjoyed by many, applications are available now at the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce or at First South Bank in Mount Olive. You can also access the application online at Don’t let the idea simmer too long, the application deadline is April 3rd.

The NC Pickle Festival will be held Saturday April 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Mount Olive. The cookoff will take place at the corner of East James and North Center Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tens of thousands of guests will be in attendance and eager to taste your best pot of chili, so get to cookin’!

For more information about the chili cookoff and the 31st annual Pickle Festival, visit