Ballantyne Festival arrives

The Charlotte Fire Department usually wins gold at the chili cook-off, but South Charlotte Weekly is looking to give them a run for their money this year.

Candidate forum, cook-off, festival starts at 10 a.m. on Oct. 6 at Morrison YMCA


The annual Ballantyne Festival returns this weekend to south Charlotte, complete with fun and games for kids, local and state political candidates for adults, and lots of chili for everyone in between.

The festival is part chili cook-off, part politician campaign stop, but mostly a gathering for Ballantyne and area residents to celebrate the arrival of fall and meet their neighbors. The event is a combination of an old art festival the Morrison YMCA held, and the chili cook-off local advocacy group Ballantyne Breakfast Club organized each year. Now it’s exploded to a whole day of events, drawing more than 1,000 people to a field near the YMCA.

This year’s festival will include:

• More than 20 political candidates running for state and local office, as well as two of the candidates running for U.S. House District 9 – Democrat Jennifer Roberts and Republican Robert Pittenger. They’ll be joined by several members of the Charlotte City Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board and new Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison.

• Local fire and police departments, as well as the sheriff’s office, will have several special vehicles on display – including the mobile courthouse.

• Around 20 groups will have chili for people to taste test. That includes South Charlotte Weekly, which will have a chili booth in the competition.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with the chili cook-off. The candidates parade, when all the local political candidates are introduced, is at 11 a.m. Chili usually runs out by 1 p.m., after which people can stay and enjoy the festivities until 9 p.m.

The Morrison YMCA is located at 9405 Bryant Farms Road.

Find more information on the event and the Ballantyne Breakfast Club at the club’s website, www.

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