What better way to escape the oncoming chill of winter than with a steaming hot bowl of chili?  If you enjoy making chili or feel the thrill of competition, consider joining in the 7th Annual Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser at Hot Springs’ Exchange Street Parking Plaza this Tuesday.  There is no entry fee for competitors, but each team must create 10 gallons of chili.  Teams must provide their own ingredients, cooking aparatus, and such.  There will be electricity for competitors who need it.  Cooking begins at 1 p.m.

Rather taste than cook?  Your chance comes at 4 p.m., when for $3 you can line up and try as much chili as you can consume.  Proceeds will go to the Downtown Association’s Deck the Park Challenge.  For more information, call (501) 624-3370 or email Suzanne Tucker

Stick around for the annual Christmas lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m.

Unable to make it to Hot Springs?  Pull some of that venison out of your freezer and give Phyllis Speers’ Mexican Venison Chili a try.  Recipe on the jump.