If you don’t think your chili can win on its own, you can always pass a little 'cash' to one of the judges. It’s all for fun, and a good cause, during the fourth annual Candlelight Ranch Chili Cook-off and Car Show on Sunday, February 9. Photo by Martelle Luedecke
For more than 20 years, Candlelight Ranch has changed the lives of countless children and adults. Tucked off of RR 1431 between Marble Falls and Lago Vista among hills and the shores of Lake Travis, this little oasis goes unnoticed by many.
But the Candlelight Ranch Chili Cook-off and Car Show shines a light on the facility and its programs. The fourth annual event is noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, February 9, at the ranch, 6408 Muleshoe Bend Trail. It also includes live music, children’s activities, and food and drink vendors. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for ages 17 and younger. Kids 3 and younger get in free. Beer, water, and specialty cocktails are included in the ticket price. You can purchase sausage wraps, veggie wraps, and hot dogs for $2 each.
You can either compete in the chili cook-off for prizes or sample the entries. Each team can have up to six people. Awards are for first, second, and third as well as Judges’ Choice, People’s Choice, and Best Showmanship.
The event also features a car and motorcycle show. A registration form is online. Prizes are for People’s Choice, Best Original, Best Corvette, Best Hot Rod, Best Motorcycle, Children’s Choice, and Best of Show.
And there is plenty for the kids to enjoy, including a nature scavenger hunt and zip lining.
Jeri and Don Barr and Don’s brother Randy opened Candlelight Ranch in 1999. It is place where children with special needs or at-risk youths can experience the wonders and restorative benefits of the outdoors through nature-based curriculum.
In recent years, the ranch expanded its programs to help veterans and current military service members and their families.
In 2019, the facility took its programs off-site into the Round Rock and Lago Vista school districts.
Community support makes it all possible, and the chili cook-off and car show on February 9 is a great way to help — and have a lot of fun while you do.