Byron Chilifest returns for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began

BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) – The sauce was flowing in Byron Saturday as the city’s annual Chilifest at Uptown Lanes returns.

Seven teams were on hand this year brewing their chili concoctions with taste testing starting at Noon on Saturday. The event was hosted by the Byron Chamber of Commerce and has been in hibernation since the COVID-19 pandemic. For a long time, it didn’t look like it was ever going to come back as a duck show was brought in to take its place.

Residents say it was missed so much that it was enough to bring the fest back. This tradition, according to residents, signifies the start of the fall season. Sarah Downs of the Byron Chamber of Commerce says, “We did more of a family-friendly style so we did face painting and more. We have a kids’ area we have backboards out. We really wanted to encompass that family event where you could come out, support your local businesses and just have a really good time at a very affordable cost.”