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It may only be the 3rd Annual SoNo Park Holiday Fest & CHiLiPALooZA, but Kouta Shimazaki of San Diego Ceramic Connection has been hosting the ceramic-centric chili competition and fundraiser for South Park for 16 years, all to benefit McKinley Elementary. But since the neighboring hoods of North and South park banded together, the festival has expanded to include local vendors hawking holiday gifts and goodies, a beer and wine garden, food trucks, and live music.


I had a blast last year, and captured some footage to share on NBC7, which you can watch right here:

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.

This year, there are 24 restaurants competing for bragging rights. See the full list HERE. I've already got my hand-spun ceramic chili bowl, but don't worry, you can still get one (if you arrive early enough) on the day of the event. For $20 you'll get your own beautiful bowl to keep, and five restaurant tastings (you can add another 5 for $5 and so on), and unlimited tastings of the community chili in "Chili Alley," of which there will be over 50 different recipes.


In the Kid Zone, there will be craft activities, carnival games, a cake walk, and more to entertain the little ones. On a personal note, one thing I absolutely loved about last year (aside from the tasty fare and cool shopping options) was how many dogs were brought to the party. Something about their presence added to the "big family" feel of this community event.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thorn Street, this Sunday, December 2.

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Ian Pike Nov. 30, 2012 @ 1:35 p.m.

The totally random panel of judges is the best part.


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