River View Park will offer mountain views along with food and drink

Staff Report

The 2021 Buellton Wine & Chili Festival returns on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 12 to 4:30 p.m. Back with a new venue, and over 30 wineries and craft breweries and spirit companies to sample from, this festival will be jam packed with family friendly fun, great food and Santa Barbara wines.

Attendees are invited to sample from various wineries, distilleries and craft breweries at one of the first festivals of its kind. Local businesses and residents participate in the annual Chili Cook Off to see who has the best chili or salsa in the Valley. The festival organizers are working on making this the largest turnout of cooks for the chili and salsa competitions, calling on all local restaurants, nonprofit groups and community members to enter and show their skills. Hopeful chili and salsa cooks can register at www.BuelltonWineandChiliFestival.com or email info@surfbeerfest.com for more information. There will be cash prizes for each of the three categories: red, chili verde and salsa.

The event will take place at a new venue this year, River View Park in Buellton, just down the street from Flying Flags where the festival has taken place in the past. 

The new venue offers several new amenities for guests that will enhance the festival experience, stunning views of the surrounding mountains, large picnic areas with natural shade coverings, two playgrounds kids can enjoy and the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden, which has a willow maze, butterfly garden and a wishing tree. 

Families can enjoy live music performances by the Dusty Jugs and the VineYard Byrds and shopping from various local vendors, plus lawn games such as cornhole and for the adults, mega-sized beer pong.

The Hot Chili Ticket ($55) is for all guests 21 and over and includes a souvenir wine glass, unlimited wine, craft beer and chili tasting. For guests under 21, the Mild Chili Ticket is $20 and includes unlimited samples of chili and salsa but no alcohol.

If you’re planning a weekend trip to Buellton for the festival, there are various accommodation options to choose from. Visitors can stay at Flying Flags or Sideways Inn, the sister property of Flying Flags and the well-known location in the movie “Sideways” where Jack (Thomas Haden Church) and Miles (Paul Giamatti) stayed during their journey through the Santa Ynez Valley. For more lodging options please see https://www.discoverbuellton.com/lodging-hotels/

There are options for safe transportation to the Buellton Wine & Chili Festival for those staying elsewhere on the Central Coast and locals like the Brew Bus. The Brew bus will be doing pickups in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Lompoc. The Santa Barbara pickup will be at Figueroa Mountain Brewing at 10:30 a.m.; M Special Brewing Co. in Goleta at 11 a.m.; Figueroa Mountain Brewing in Santa Maria at 10:30 a.m. and Solvang Brewing Co. in Lompoc at 11:15 a.m. No walk-up tickets will be sold at bus departure; ticket must be purchased in advance.

For event information and to purchase tickets, you may visit www.BuelltonWineandChiliFestival.com or call the Buellton Chamber of Commerce at 805-688-7829.