Toms River, NJ – Organizers of the 21st Annual New Jersey State Chili & Salsa Cook-off are pleased to announce the second annual children’s coloring contest in conjunction with the festival. In keeping with the theme of the festival, the contest entry form features a large chile pepper for contestants to decorate. Winners will receive recognition on the Downtown Toms River website, be introduced on stage at the festival and receive a $25 AMEX gift card.
Michael Redpath, Executive Director for Downtown Toms River, the group that organizes the festival, says, “We really enjoyed viewing the creativity exhibited by the children in last year’s contest, and we look forward to receiving even more entries this year.” The deadline for entries is May 3 at 5:00 p.m. The contest is open to children ages 3 to 12 years of age. A panel of judges will select one winner in each age category based on entry creativity. Age categories are: 3 – 5 years, 6 – 8 years and 9 – 12 years. One winner will be selected for each age group. Entry forms can be printed from the Downtown Toms River website or picked up at the following locations: the Community Connection booth at the Ocean County Mall, Downtown Toms River’s office, in the Children’s section of the Ocean County Library, Toms River branch, and the information desk of Toms River’s Town Hall. See entry form for complete contest rules.

The 21st Annual New Jersey State Chili & Salsa Cook-off takes place Saturday, May 15 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Washington Street in Downtown Toms River. It’s a fabulous family festival where attendees can indulge their spicy side while tasting a large assortment of chilies and salsas. Contestants from all over New Jersey and beyond will be cooking up a variety of fresh chili and salsas as they compete for prize money and the International Chili Society New Jersey “state champion” title. The festival kicks off with a fun parade down Washington Street and offers something for the whole family, including crafters, vendors, musical entertainment, children’s inflatable rides, games, chili eating contests and food.

The NJ State Chili & Salsa Cook-Off is sponsored by Comcast, United Water Toms River, New Jersey Natural Gas, Capone’s Gourmet Pizza & Restaurant, Extra Space Storage, Allen Consulting and radio stations Magic 100.1 WJRZ and The WRAT. For information on registering to compete in the chili and salsa cook-off, contest rules and entry fees, visit or call 732-946-2711. For additional information on this event or other Downtown Toms River events or to volunteer to assist with them, call 732-341-8738 or visit

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