The Malibu Chili Cook-Off began Sept. 1, and ran through the holiday weekend until Sept. 4, where it concluded with Family Day, which focused on children and their families with cheaper tickets, according to the ticket website.
The event originated first in 1982 and is now a beloved tradition for those who live in and around it, said various people of the Malibu community.
“It was beautiful and magical and amazing,” senior Capra Schwabe said. “After the amazing experience, I would like to start this tradition for myself.”
The event took place on Civic Center Way, directly next to the new Santa Monica College Malibu campus.
The chili flowed in the afternoons, and by night, the carnival rides glowed for the over 25,000 guests in attendance, according to the statistics on the cook-off’s website.
The carousel spins at the carnival Sept. 1. Carnival rides ran until 10 p.m., and 8 p.m., on Monday. Photo by Perse Klopp
“All proceeds from the Chili Cook-off will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, a community resource that focuses on character and leadership, the arts, academic success, health and wellness, and diversity equity and inclusion,” according to the cook-off’s website.
Along with the Boys & Girls Club, the event partnered with sponsors such as Universal Music Group and Bright Event Rentals, according to the event’s homepage. Additionally, the event worked with Aviator Nation to create specialized merchandise attendees purchased throughout the weekend.
Attractions this year included fair rides, carnival games, face-painting, a skate park and a silent disco. The fair attracted not just university students and locals but younger kids as well, alumna Alex Hobbs (’23) said.
“I saw mostly younger people actually,” Hobbs said. “There were many kids there, probably around middle school age, and most of them participated in the rides and games.”
It wasn’t all fun and games; the chili cook-off winners were announced by event officials Sunday. The first-place winner of the meat category was Universal Music Group, and all of the proceeds won from the cook-off will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, according to the cook-off’s Instagram.
This year, tickets cost $40 for entry throughout the weekend and $20 on Monday. The ticket prices were reduced prior to the weekend of the event. These prices did not include the festivities inside the event. Some guests were disgruntled with the high prices inside the event in addition to the entry price, senior Shaeffer Doyle said.
“I was upset because the tickets were expensive because it was just an entry fee,” Doyle said. “Everything inside was also expensive.”
Pictures on the cook-off’s Instagram showed some unique elements this year, including an adult-only beer garden, live music and a mini skate park with competitions.
Students at Pepperdine said they look forward to this every year, and despite the higher-priced tickets, guests said they still had a wonderful time.
“I had fun regardless,” Doyle said. “It is a good atmosphere and made me feel like a kid again.”
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