Wondering how to spend a chilly Saturday in the Finger Lakes region? We suggest a road trip to Cortland County for the annual Chill-A-Bration in downtown Cortland! The popular mid-winter attraction is just a quick 40-minute drive from Binghamton and Syracuse, and is the perfect family-friendly day trip.
Here's what you need to know…
The festivities begin at 12 p.m. and run until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29. A variety of businesses will feature either a winter menu item to sample or prepare a special chili entry to compete for the title of "Cortland Area's Best Chili" and "Favorite Winter Flavor." Last year, Spiedini's Pizza Parlor took home the trophy for its Spiedi Chili, while BRU 64 claimed the title of Best Winter Flavor for its Bru Coco.
Attendees are encouraged to cast a ballot for their favorite samples by 4:15 p.m. One of the ballots will be drawn to receive a prize. The winner will be announced on the corner of Main Street and Tompkins Street/Port Watson Street at 4:30 p.m.
This year's event will feature over 10 restaurants and local businesses. The roundup will include...
- Garcia's Mexican Restaurant
- Hollywood Restaurant
- New York Bagel Café & Deli
- VFW Tioughnioga Post #2354
- Cortland YMCA
- Cortland YWCA
- Spiedini's Pizza Parlor
- Frank & Mary's Diner
- Gorgers Subs
- Roots Hair Salon
Drink samples will be provided by Homer Hops, Garcia's Mexican Restaurant, The Squeeze Juice Bar and New York Bagel Café & Deli.
The event has been a staple in downtown Cortland since 2008. It was originally held in Courthouse Park, before moving to downtown Cortland as a walking, sample tour. Hosting responsibilities have recently changed as Timothy A. Bennett, Owner & Publisher of the Cortland Voice, as well as the licensed owner of FunFlicks Indoor and Outdoor Movies in Cortland County, is overseeing Chill-A-Bration, along with First Light and Taste of Downtown.
Fun for a Cause
If chili isn't reason enough to attend Chill-A-Bration, 40% of all profits from the event will go towards the Office of Community Oriented Policing program meant to strengthen the relationship between the police department and community. The office hosts several events throughout the year like Shop With a Cop and Coffee With a Cop.
Watch the announcement below for more details.
How to Participate
You can get in on the action with a $10 tasting ticket that can be purchased online. Online ticket purchases can be picked up the day of the event, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Tompkins Street/Port Watson Street. In-person sales are available at the YWCA on 14 Clayton Ave, Cortland. If you purchase from the YWCA, $2 of each ticket will go towards the organization. Both online and in-person sales will be available until 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27. If tickets have not sold out, they will also be available the day of the event for $12.
If you have any questions, please contact the organizer, Tim Bennett with questions: (607) 662-3344, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your Chill-A-Bration photos with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.