SoNo Park Holiday Fest and Chili Cookoff on Sunday, December 2nd | San Diego's South and North Park 'Hoods Make Peace...AND CHILI!!!

November 30, 2012

The annual SoNo Park Holiday Fest and Chilipalooza will take place on Sunday, December 2, 2012 from 11am to 5pm, giving San Diegans a chance to buy local, eat local and drink local, all for a good cause. This free holiday event is a collaboration between San Diego Ceramic Connection and the McKinley Elementary School Foundation and promises award-winning chili as local restaurants (including The Linkery, El Take It Easy!, Sea Rocket Bistro, The Smoking Goat, Toronado, True North Tavern, Uptown Tavern, Vagabond, West Coast Tavern, Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria, Urban Solace, Rebecca's Coffee House, Starlite, Juan Chou, Splash Wine Bar, Phil’s BBQ and more) face off for chili bragging rights once again.

A panel of San Diego celebrities will be on hand to crown the winners and the public is invited to sample the entries – $20 buys chili tastings in a handcrafted ceramic bowl.

“This event has evolved from a small group of friends and patrons gathering to eat chili and have a good time into a major street festival and fundraising event to benefit McKinley,” said Kouta Shimazaki, owner of San Diego Ceramic Connection, “The people in our community have really pulled together to make this a success and that’s something I’m proud to be part of.”

The festival, held in the heart of San Diego’s North/South Park neighborhoods at 32nd & Thorn, will also feature beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, an assortment of food trucks, unique holiday gift shopping from local artists and craft vendors, live music on two stages and children’s activities.

Competition heats up this year with a new twist -- Alchemy will help McKinley fifth grade students craft their own chili entry and take on the culinary experts, through their Scratch Culinary Education program. And some challengers outside of the area have thrown their chili hats into the ring -- look out for chili from Phil’s BBQ, Starlite and Uptown Tavern.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the support we receive from the community,” said McKinley principal Julie Ashton-Gray, “This event helps us give McKinley students access to so many important activities that would be unfunded otherwise.”

Bar Pink and The Casbah will sponsor two live music stages to keep the crowd dancing throughout the day. Bands will include Shawn Rohlf & the Buskers, Galaxy, Adams and Eves, and many more local favorites.

For more information, check out the video below, and for a complete list of restaurants, celebrity judges, bands, vendors, food trucks and more event information visit, follow @sonoparkfest on Twitter and like sonoparkfest on Facebook.