Rustler’s Heat, Thunder Cover, Chris Gardner Band and more round out the entertainment lineup at GSR chili cookoff.


With autumn in the air, many people have chili on the brain. There’s no better way to kick off the cooler weather season than with the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Taking place Oct. 16-18, the cookoff will feature cooks from around the country competing with their best chili to win coveted prizes and be voted people’s choice. The GSR event is the world’s championship in a series of cookoffs around the country.

“We are very happy to host the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff, which is a premier event gathering the top chefs and cooks in chili-making from around the globe to showcase their best recipes,” said Tracy Mimno, GSR general manager. “Our property serves as the perfect venue for this exciting championship, and we look forward to seeing locals and visitors alike join us in not only welcoming this great event back to Northern Nevada but reveling in all the event has to offer.”

The Chili Cookoff will be host to a rocking entertainment lineup throughout the three-day event. The lineup includes 60s Summer of Love, Rustler’s Heat, Thunder Cover, Chris Gardner, and Jackson Michelson.

From noon to 1:45 p.m. Oct. 16, local country band Rustler’s Heat will take the stage, covering all the hits from your favorite country artists, including Carrie Underwood, George Strait, Tim McGraw, and more. They’ll also play original music. From 2:15 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16, take a walk down memory lane with the 60s Summer of Love Band, playing all your favorite ’60s hits from beloved bands like The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

From noon to 1:45 p.m. Oct. 17, enjoy renditions from cover band Thunder Cover. The band hails from Sacramento and will surely rock your socks off with their unique sound. Covering everyone from the Foo Fighters to Michael Jackson, there’s bound to be something for everyone when Thunder Cover is performing. From 2:15 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 17, enjoy Nashville favorite Chris Gardner Band, which has had one hit after another since its debut in 2013. Opening for major players like Love and Theft and Luke Bryan, Chris Gardner Band has worked hard to hone its country-rock sound and make a name for itself, and you won’t want to miss this performance.

Finally, Oregon native Jackson Michelson will wow you with his personal and powerful country tunes from noon to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 18. His passion shines through in each of his songs, making him one to watch.

Listen and eat

The cookoff will be host to several competitions, including Best Booth Decoration and Showmanship, Best Homestyle Chili, Best Chili Verde, Best Salsa, Best Traditional Red Chili and the People’s Choice Chili. The Fire House Cookoff will involve firefighters competing with their best chili to win the top prize of $1,000, and take place on Oct. 16. On Oct. 17, firefighters will return to serve their chili to attendees. Any attendee who brings two cans of food to be donated to Food Bank of Northern Nevada will receive a tasting kit good for one sample from each of the participating firefighters and one vote for people’s choice.

Other special events include the Shoot N’ Holler Contest (winner is determined by spectator applause), Miss Chili Pepper competition (winner is determined by spectator applause), and Mr. Hot Sauce competition (winner is determined by spectator applause).

So mark your calendars for Oct. 16-18 for this can’t-miss event and check out for details.

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