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Polar Plunge

10am Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Urbanna Town Marina

Support the Middlesex YMCA and take the plunge into Urbanna Creek! Plungers will receive a limited edition Chili Plunge t-shirt and a hot lunch (Chili, hot dog and coffee or tea).

All ages are welcome to test their resolve in the icy Urbanna Creek waters. Each applicant or applicant's parent must sign a waiver before taking the plunge. Fill out the application/waiver form completely and mail to

Middlesex Family YMCA
PO Box 524
Hartfield, VA 23071

or drop it by the Y's Welcome Center at 11487 General Puller Highway, Hartfield, VA 23071.

Entry Fee: Before February 1 $25, February 1 and after $30 per person. YMCA Members receive a $5 discount.

Click here for Applicaton/Waiver

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are vital to the success of the first ever Polar Plunge in Urbanna. If you are cheering on a family member or friend, it's a great way to be involved.

Email rpanis@peninsulaymca.org or add "volunteer" to the top of the application and fill out all applicable information. Please check-in at the volunteer station by 9am.

Chili Cook-Off

The public is invited to sample chilies prepared by amateur and professional artisans from the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck and to vote for their favorites. Enjoy music by local performers.
Admission is free.

11am to 5pm, Saturday, February 15, 2014 in the parking lot adjacent to Something Different Urbanna, VA

Contestants will compete for bragging Rights and Trophies for the best chilies. Event features a Throw-Down between the pit-masters of Something Different to determine the popularity of Southwestern VS Eastern style chilies. There will also be Refreshments and Entertainment

Read Dan Gill's article about Chili and the Chili Plunge

Enter the Competition

Do you think you have the best chili in the land? Join the competition to prove your point! There's no charge for amateurs and a modest fee for the professional category. Please read our complete rules and guidelines below and sign-up today.

Chili Cook-Off Rules, Guidelines and Schedule

There are three elements to the Chili Cook-Off

  1. Judged chili cook-off for professionals
  2. People’s choice for amateurs
  3. Chili Throw-Down between Mike McCargar and Dan Gill, pit-masters at Something Different. This is mostly a popularity contest for style – Eastern vs. Southwestern Judged by the public

General rules for all competitors

  1. All participants are responsible for providing their own tent (optional but recommended), tables, cooking equipment, extension cords, etc.
  2. Some electrical outlets will be available for crock-pots but propane burners are encouraged.
  3. Chili may be prepared on-site or brought in. Please observe standard food safety guidelines: Chili prepared ahead of time must be chilled rapidly to 40°F or less and transported to the event either hot (140°F or above) or cold (40°F or less) and heated to serving temperature on-site.
  4. Sample cups & spoons will be provided by Something Different.
  5. Download Chili Cook-Off Application here, or pick up packet at Something Different in Urbanna.
  6. Return completed application to:
    Dan Gill
    Urbanna Business Association
    PO Box 695

Rules for Amateur Competitors

  1. There is no entry fee for amateur competitors
  2. Limited to individuals, organizations and non-profits in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck to include all of Gloucester, Mathews, King and Queen, Essex, Lancaster, Richmond and Northumberland counties. At least one member of each team must reside within the designated area. There is no entrance fee for the amateur competition.
  3. Amateurs may not sell chili. Sample cups and spoons will be provided.
  4. Winners will be chosen by people’s choice ballots and will be awarded trophies.

Rules for Professional Competitors

  1. Limited to restaurants and businesses permitted to serve food to the general public and located in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck to include all of Gloucester, Mathews, King and Queen, Essex, Lancaster, Richmond and Northumberland counties. Entrance fee for professionals is $100. Make checks payable to the Urbanna Business Association.
  2. Professional winners will be decided by a panel of judges.
  3. Professionals are allowed to sell 12 oz. bowls of chili for $5 per bowl.
  4. 12 oz. bowls will be provided for professional sales and turn-in.

Event Schedule

6am - Set-up, prep and cooking begins for all contestants. Tents and tables may be set up on Friday evening.

10am - Polar Plunge at Urbanna Town Marina

11am to 5pm - Chili Cook-Off is open to the public

1pm – Turn-in for professionals

3pm - Something Different Throw-Down and ballots collected for amateur competition

4pm - Awards given out for amateur, professional and Throw-Down competitors

5pm - Event closes

Sponsorship Opportunities

We are asking area businesses and individuals to help support the Chili Cook-Off. Our events bring much needed commerce to our area. All businesses benefit from increased visitor traffic and the money spent. Please help us to continue these special events.

This year our sponsors will be listed on Sponsorship board located at the Chili Cook-Off in order of sponsorship level.

Click here for a Sponsorship form