VENDOR and CHILI COOK-OFF requests

Presented by the Reading Downtown Improvement District, Reading Fire + Ice Fest is the go-to venue for people of all ages. The festival, to be held January 18 and 19 in the 500 block of Penn Street in Reading, will feature stunning and spectacular ice sculptures, dazzling fire performers, a Snowfall Ball, live music, a sizzling chili cook-off, mouthwatering foods…this is a fest for the eyes, ears and taste buds!

We are always looking to add food vendors and entertainers to our upcoming Reading Fire + Ice events. Please complete and submit the appropriate forms below for consideration. A member of our event committee will be in touch with additional details once you've submitted your request.


SPECIAL NOTE FOR FOOD VENDORS: Food vendors must have a certificate of insurance, ServSafe Certification, a City of Reading Event Health Permit and a Business Privilege License.


PLEASE NOTE: ALL ENTRANTS MUST HAVE SERVSAFE CERTIFICATION AS WELL AS A CERTIFICATE OF COMPREHENSIVE GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE NAMING THE READING DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT AS ADDITIONAL INSURED.

COOK-OFF RULES:

  • The cook-off will be held between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2018, at a location to be announced.. Judging will end by 1:30 p.m. that day.

  • Entrants must provide Serve Safe Certificate

  • Entrants must provide COI naming Reading Downtown Improvement District as additional Insured

  • Each contestant must cook at least THREE gallons of chili. Approximately 1 pint of chili will be needed for the judges for tasting. Each contestant must use discretion as to how much chili should be prepared beyond the three-gallon minimum. It’s advised to prepare enough as to not run out of chili before the People’s Choice judging ends at 1:30 p.m.

  • All ingredients must be pre-cooked prior to the event – chili must be brought ready to eat.

  • Each contestant is responsible for policing and cleaning up their area during and after the cook-off. There will not be an area for cleaning of dishes. No items shall be allowed to remain after the end of the cook-off.

  • Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own utensils and products related to their chili submission and maintenance of its proper temperature for serving. An electrical outlet will be available for each contestant and a crockpot is recommended to hold the chili.

  • No independent i-Pods, radios, stereos, or other forms of music will be permitted.

  • Contestants are prohibited from offering any incentives in exchange for votes! If a contestant is found to offer incentives in exchange for votes, they will be immediately banned from the cook-off.

  • Decorations are permitted but must be tasteful.

    Judging and Awards

  • Awards will be presented in two categories: Judges’ Award and People’s Choice Award. First, second, and third place cash prizes of $150, $100, and $50, respectively, will be awarded in each category. The awards will be presented at 2 p.m. the day of the cook-off.

  • Judges’ decisions will be based on smell, thickness, color, flavor and aftertaste.

  • The decision of the judges is final. In the Judges’ Award category, judging will be based on score cards provided to each judge. Cook-off organizers will tally the results of the People’s Choice Category.

    General Information

  • Each contestant will be provided one 8-foot table and two chairs to set up their display. Requests for additional tables and chairs must be made in writing at least one week prior to the cook-off.

  • Set up will begin at 10am. You must be ready to serve your chili by 11 a.m.

  • Small cups (shot-sized), spoons, and napkins will be provided to each contestant to serve to attendees.

  • Please advise in advance if you will need electric.

  • Each contestant will be assigned a “contestants number” by the scorekeeper and be given a container for depositing of People’s Choice tickets.

Entry forms should be submitted no later than Friday, January 4, 2019, for consideration. Please contact the Reading Downtown Improvement District Office at 610-376-6424 if you have questions or need additional information.