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The great city of Thousand Oaks is one of the most popular locations in all of California. The area plays host to a wide array of fascinating destinations to visit and activities to partake in, no matter the time of year. If you live in Westlake Village or the surrounding areas, you know how amazing the Southern California weather is at this time of year. With ample amounts of sunshine and a crisp breeze in the air, now is the perfect time for an outing. The Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show is one of the most anticipated events of the year, taking place on the last day of April!
This event has taken place in Thousand Oaks for 41 years running and has only increased in popularity as of late. The Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off is sanctioned by the International Chili Society and is hosted by the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks. Since its inception, this cook off has existed as a means to not only bring the community together but to also raise funds for local charities and surrounding communities. In fact, 100 percent of funds raised at this event are provided to charities like the YMCA, Special Olympics, and the Boys & Girls Club. For the last two years, the event has been held at Conejo Creek Park North. This day-long adventure will keep you and your friends and family entertained for hours.
5. A perfect event to enjoy the beautiful Thousand Oaks
If you live in or around Thousand Oaks, you’re likely aware of how beautiful the city is. This beauty is amplified by the fantastic Southern California weather and the location of this event at the popular Conejo Creek Park North. This is one of the premier parks in Thousand Oaks, providing you with a massive open area with playgrounds, volleyball courts, and scenic views. Trees dot the landscape, offering plenty of shade and places to enjoy a drink with a snack in-between activities. This great location is one of the main reasons that everyone should look to attend the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show.
When spending time with friends and family, you’ll find a lot to do here, even outside of the activities put together solely for this event. The booths and stalls at this event are placed close together in the open space that this park offers, allowing you to move from one vendor to another with ease. Given the open space, you’ll also be able to mingle with other members of the community. This event fosters togetherness in a way that will likely have you coming back often in the years to come. The crowds are lively, which is perfect when you wish to catch some of the live music that’s being played. Lively crowds really help to facilitate a fun atmosphere that is a family-friendly event that everyone can enjoy.
4. A variety of Vendors
During the time that you spend at the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show, you won’t want to miss the large variety of vendors situated all throughout the park. One of the exciting aspects of this event is that there are also many different types of vendors available to you which means you can pick and choose to go to the ones that best suit your interests. For instance, many of the bands and musicians that play at this event have their own booths set up if you wish stop by to have a chat or support their performance by purchasing some of their music and memorabilia.
Since this is primarily a family event, most of the vendors who attend provide fun that the entire family can enjoy. There are plenty of food trucks and booths situated around the park, even ones that aren’t specifically set up for the chili cook off. A vast selection of arts and crafts vendors can also be found on the premises, allowing you to spend time making homemade bracelets and partaking in face-painting with your friends or children.
The most popular vendors in the park can be found at the Kids Zone, an area that offers a many fun and exciting activities for children of all ages. Younger children will love the inflatable climbing bounce house that resembles a very large horse. The petting zoo is great for people of all ages, giving you a unique opportunity to get an up-close look at some of the animals that call Southern California their home. The ring toss makes for a fun diversion for kids or a friendly wager among adults. If you want to have memories of this event for years to come, don’t forget to stop by the photo area to take a couple of pictures that you can put in your wallet or even have framed once you get back home. This is just a small “taste” (get it?) of the many vendors that the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off features at this event.
3. Music, Live Entertainment, and more!
No event is complete without live entertainment and music that you can enjoy when browsing the vendors and classic cars found all throughout the park. Thankfully, the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show offers such entertainment in spades. This is one of the biggest events of the year for music in Thousand Oaks, as the Rotary Club focuses on local musicians in order to highlight some of the talent that comes out of the area. Since the move to the Conejo Creek Park North, the amount of musicians has only increased, as there are now three separate stages situated in different areas of the park. As such, you’ll be able to hear music no matter where you are.
When traveling to-and-from the chili cook off, classic cars, and Kids Zone, this live music offers you a chance to unwind. Some of the main performances you’ll see this year include the Julius Who Band, Cover 2 Cover, and SouthBound. The latter of these is a very popular Allman Brothers tribute band. You’ll hear all types of music, from classic folk songs to modern rock. No matter what genres you love listening to, you’re sure to hear something that will pique your interest during the day. Between the sets played by each musician, other performances will also be held. From plays to fashion shows and everything in-between, the live entertainment on display is just as eventful as the chili cook off and car show.
2. Classic Cars
Even if you’re going to the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show for the chili or simply to get to immerse yourself in the community culture, the classic cars on display are a must see. There are a myriad of fascinating classic cars showcased at this event each year. This year is no exception. Since the inception of this event, it has operated, in part, as a classic cars show. From 70’s muscle cars to old-fashioned Plymouth Belvederes, the classic cars displayed at the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show offer you a glimpse into the types and classic style of transportation that people drove in many of the past decades.
People from all over California bring their cars to this event to be displayed in style. They’ve been renovated and touched up to appear brand new. No matter what era of cars you’re interested in, the car show is sure to have what you’re searching for. The owners will be standing by, just waiting for you to inquire about the rich history of each vehicle. Some of the cars on display at this event date back to the ’30’s and ’40’s. Plan accordingly for when you wish to stop by the classic cars display, as you’re likely to spend many hours there.
1. Mouth-watering Chili!
The mouth-watering chili available at the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off & Car Show is the highlight of this event! No matter what types of chili you enjoy the most, you’re likely to find a type that best suits your palette. People from Thousand Oaks and all over California look forward to this delicious chili every year, and for good reason. This friendly competition causes restaurants and chili vendors to bring out their best recipes to be judged at the competition (in which the people doing the tasting are sure to be the ones who benefit the most!) There are three official chili categories, all of which you can sample from. These categories are Red Chili, Chili Verde, and Salsa.
There are also two additional categories outside of the official ones being judged that are for non-professionals and restaurants. If you enjoy chili in any way, the Thousand Oaks Chili Cook Off is likely to be an unforgettable event. Throughout the day, you’ll likely get wind of the most favored chili vendors in the area, so make sure to stop by the ones getting the best word of mouth. This is also a great opportunity to expand your palette and try types of chili that you may have never tasted before. Given the wide range of quality on display, you may even find yourself enjoying a type of chili you previously thought you disliked! If you like what you’ve heard so far, mark this event on your calendar and stop by for the weekend!
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