(WSYR-TV) — With the cold weather making its way into Central New York, people are making meals that will keep them warm as well as fill their stomachs. 

This March, the 24th Annual Chili Cook-Off will invade downtown Ithaca. 

The event is usually held in February, but the city is pushing the cook-off to Saturday, March 5, because of the omicron variant. 

“Dozens of restaurants and eateries participate, and thousands of people show up for our Chili Cook-Off each year, and we want everyone to have the safest experience possible. To that end, we’ve worked with the Tompkins County Health Department to determine an ideal time to host this event, and early March seems to be a good fit,” says Scott Rougeau, special events director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. 

Different to this year’s event is visitors will be able to partake in tasting the chilis both at the event and the week leading up the cook-off. 

Confirmed participants include Antlers Restaurant, a newcomer to the cook-off, Kilpatrick’s Publick House, Mahogany Grill, Lucky Hare Brewing Company, and The Hotel Ithaca.  

The grand prize is the famed Chili Cook-Off trophy and plenty of bragging rights! If you’re a restaurant or eatery interested in participating in this event, you can complete the Chili Cook-Off registration form on downtownithaca.com.  

“We look forward to the Chili Cook-Off every year, and we’re certainly thrilled to be able to organize it safely. The public is truly in for a treat. The competition is typically fierce but friendly, so we’re expecting many tasty chilies that everyone may enjoy. We thank the community for its continued support for this ultimate foodie and family-friendly event,” says Rougeau.  

For additional Chili Cook-Off information and to purchase tickets, visit downtownithaca.com