Chili, Blues and Brews Festival goes Zero Waste

virginia chiliThe 12th annual Virginia Chili, Blues and Brews Festival will also mark a significant first: as the first-ever Zero Waste Festival in Waynesboro history.

The event, which brings thousands of guests to town to sample over 200+ gallons of chili, local brews and ciders with world-class blues, will offer guests the chance to reduce the waste footprint of the event.

“Last year we threw away over 30,000 non-recyclable styrofoam serving cups, plastic spoons and drink cups, and sent it directly to the landfill,” said Terry Short, the festival organizer.

This year the event will replace all of those items with compostable material, as will all of its food vendors.

“In fact, we’ll conduct composting demonstrations throughout the event as well,” said Short, who is also Waynesboro’s mayor. “We’re also incentivizing our chili competitors with an extra cash prize to help us educate patrons of some eco-friendly steps they can take back home with them.”

In March, the City of Waynesboro suspended its plastic recycling program, following a sad trend nationwide as communities deal with a lack of after-market demand for plastics.

“Like anything in life, you can either sit down and accept things, or stand up and do something. At the Virginia Chili, Blues and Brews Festival, we’ve decided to do something,” Short said.

The Virginia Chili Blues and Brews Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28 in Downtown Waynesboro from 2:30-9pm, featuring music from the son of blues legend Muddy Waters, Big Bill Morganfield, award-winning Texas guitarist Chris Duarte, and more.

Discounted tickets and more information are available online at

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