Chili, Chili & More Chili – Henniker, NH 2015 Chili Festival!

If you like chili we recommend checking out the Henniker, New Hampshire annual chili festival. The local’s call it “Fire on the Mountain Chili Festival” because it takes place at their local ski Mountain, Pat’s Peak, and as the website says “it’s a celebration of all things spicy!”

We attended their 13th annual “Spicy Celebration” on Sunday, August 23rd where we got to try a 1 0unce cup of each vendor’s chili, both in the amateur and professional divisions! That doesn’t sound like a lot until you try 40 chilis and realize you had 40 ounces of chili!  The event also had craft vendors, where we purchased some really tasty BBQ sauce and seasoning, additional food & beverages for purchase, and a live concert (cost including within admission) by Rosemary Baby Blues.

Where we stayed:

During our time in New Hampshire we stayed at Sandy Beach RV Resort and Campground. It’s an Encore property located in Contoocook. It’s about a 15-minute drive to Concord, New Hampshire’s state capital, and about a 10-minute drive to Pats Peak. This is a beautiful park with sites large enought o accomidate our large 45 foot rig (call ahead they dont have too many that big). The campground is located on a secluded private lake with only a few houses on it and no power boats; great for paddle boarding or just for a dip!

If camping isn’t your thing then check out the Colby Hill Inn, an amazing bed & breakfast in the area. Make sure to stay for dinner, the restaurant is amazing!

About the Area:

Southern New Hampshire is a well traveled destination for locals, but many tourists haven’t found it yet (we love that!). Henniker New Hampshire is the home to New England College, the college that Erik’s father went to. That is when Erik’s father fell in love with the area and decided to settle down in the town next door, Hillsborough, NH. There is a bit of a debate on how to spell Hillsborough, the sign on way into town says Hillsboro, others say Hillsborough… we’ll let you be the judge!

Just a few miles away is the Franklin Pierce Homestead, the childhood home of the 14th U.S. President.  You’ll also find tons of hiking, ATV & snowmobile trails, skiing and sales tax free shopping! If boating or the beach is your thing check out Franklin Pierce Lake, a powerboat and swimming friendly lake that offers spectacular views and the best nature has to offer.

Attend the Chili Festival & Other Great Local Events

Next year’s chili festival is on Sunday, August 21st 2016. If you like to eat or make chili mark your calendar because you can attend to eat or enter your chili to win. Check out the Chili New Hampshire link for additional event information and to see the 2015 winners!

Happy Chili Eating!



  1. BoxinTheCompass Says: October 1, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    We made the same mistake at the Florida BBQ Championship. There must have been 80 vendors participating in the sample tent, proceeds go to charity. My gosh we got 1/2 way through it and I turned to my wife and said I cant do anymore! These were tip of a teaspoon or fork samples of pulled pork… amazing the range in quality and taste…. some you wanted to spit out and others you wanted more… but once the appestat goes off at around 40 or so samples you can do no more

    I will have to hit that Chili festival when we finally hit the road! Would love to go to New Hampshire!

    Take care!

    • That sounds so fun! We would love to do a BBQ Championship! We’ll have to keep an eye out for one. You’re so right too, in the beginning we just ate the entire sample towards the end we were only taking a small bites, just so we could try them all. 🙂

      Thanks for the note and maybe we’ll see you up there next year!

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