Havelock Chili Festival is Back and Bigger Than Ever


After a 2-year hiatus, the 40th Annual Havelock Chili Festival is back in 2022, bigger and better than ever before. This year the Chili Festival will be a 1-day event of music, food and fun held on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Walter B. Jones Park in the center of Havelock. In addition to the Chili Cooks competing for top honors in Red Chili and People’s Choice divisions, over 85 vendors, artisans and nonprofit organizations will be on hand selling food, drinks, crafts, and merchandise, and raising awareness about their various causes and missions.

Festivities kick off at 10:00 a.m with students from the Havelock High School Marching Band playing the national anthem, followed by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Brass Band on the main stage, providing a high-energy performance to set the tone for the festival. Bridge Atlantic takes the small stage at 2:00 p.m. with their brand of soulful rock and pop covers.

Eastern Carolina’s hottest dance show band, Carl Newton’s Review out of Wilmington, start their headlining set at 4:30 p.m. to keep the party going until 7:30 p.m.

In addition to food, shopping and music, the Havelock Chili Festival will host K9 dogs and their handlers from the Craven County Sheriff’s Department doing demonstrations throughout the day. There will also be displays from Havelock Fire Department, Police Department, City of Havelock Public Works, and Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative. Fun activities include a dunk booth and walk-through story time.

Havelock Chili Festival visitors will be able to choose from a wide variety of foods including lumpia, Thai Asian Cruise Food, Pacific Island fusion, turkey legs, burgers, hot dogs, fries, funnel cakes, chicken wings, Italian ice, shaved ice, kettle corn, gourmet beef jerky, boba tea, and, of course, chili! There will be an ATM on site and credit cards can be used to buy chili tickets and HCF souvenirs.

The Havelock Chili Festival was created as a means for nonprofit organizations to raise funds and awareness for their causes. Proceeds from the annual community event also benefit nonprofit organizations in our local area.In the last 5 years of The Havelock Chili Festival, the all-volunteer HCF Committee has had the pleasure of giving out over $50,000 to the local community. The community event is planned and executed entirely by volunteers both on the Havelock Chili Festival Committee and from local nonprofits, schools, and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Generous corporate sponsors, in addition to support from The City of Havelock and MCAS Cherry Point, are also invaluable to ensuring the success of the Havelock Chili Festival every year.

In 2019, over $11,500 in funds were distributed to a variety of organizations, schools, and causes,including $1,000 in scholarships and $2,000 in STEM grants to Havelock elementary and Middle schools.

For more information, visit ChiliFestival or Facebook.

By Sandy Cence