Parrish Chili Cook-off and Heritage Festival

Published on: February 1, 2017

Sixth annual Parrish Chili Cook-off, Heritage Day Parade

The Parrish Civic Association and Parrish Foundation will host its 6th annual Chili Cook-Off and Heritage Day Parade/Festival on Saturday, March 4, at the Florida Railroad Museum on U.S. 301 in Parrish. There will be music, laughter, children’s activities and lots of good chili tasting for all attendees.

Entertainment will be provided by several popular local bands, including Triple Distilled, J. D. Lewis, Jake Castro and Christina Fury. Based on the success of last year’s event, over 6,000 people are expected to attend this year, and there will be ample parking available for all. All proceeds from the Chili Cook-Off will go to grants awarded by The Parrish Foundation to not-for-profit organizations serving the Parrish community.

“Over $140,000 in grants were awarded in the first five years of the event,” said Ben Jordan, Chairman of the Parrish Civic Association. “Grants went to the Manatee County 4H, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee County, Parrish Branch YMCA, Ellenton–Parrish Lions Club, Friends of Rocky Bluff Library, Esther’s School, FELT, Tidewell, Parrish Boy Scout Troop 41 and many others.”

The Grand Marshall for the Heritage Day Parade will be Wayne Owenby. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. from behind the Parrish Fire Station and proceed down 121st Avenue to the Florida Railroad Museum which will open at 11 a.m. If you wish to participate in the parade with a float, antique car or your favorite farm animal, contact Cindy Chin at

Tickets for the Chili Cook-Off are available in advance at the Parrish 7-Eleven (cash only) and the Parrish YMCA for $8, and at the Florida Railroad Museum gate the day of the event for $10.  Children under the age of 12 are free.

This year, in addition to the live music, there will be lots of activities for the kids, including train rides, rock climbing, an obstacle course, bungee/trampoline jump, bounce houses, kid’s maze and much more.  The Parrish Pioneering area will feature cracker cattle, quilting, a bull whip cracking demonstration, and local crafts.

There is still time to sign up as a Chili Cook-Off team, so you can try your skills versus the 30 teams that have already signed up. To sign up, call Mike Williamson at 941-812-2382, e-mail, or visit

Sponsorships are still available. It’s a great way to introduce your company to the people of Parrish and the surrounding communities. All sponsors will have their names and logos prominently displayed on all Chili Cook-Off promotional materials. For information on sponsorship opportunities, call Ben Jordan at 941-776-9019, or e-mail