If you like chili -- and would relish the chance to sample as many as 18 different batches of it -- then Bedford Middle School is the place to be Sunday.

A dozen restaurants and a handful of fire departments will compete for prizes in Chilifest, a pre-Super Bowl celebration of the bean-based stew.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Avenue school, and proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Turtle Fund, which promotes the education of young people in the arts and other creative pursuits.

Organizers said the 12 restaurants will compete for best chili in two categories -- beef chili and non-beef chili. The non-beef varieties can contain poultry or seafood or be vegetarian recipes.

Separately, the fire departments will compete for best firehouse chili. As of last week, four departments -- including Westport's -- had committed to compete, and organizers said they hoped to add two more.

Tickets are $10 for adults if purchased in advance online, and $15 at the door. Children's tickets (ages 6 to 12) are $5.

Admission includes unlimited samples of chili, so attendees can nibble or slurp as they choose, sponsors said in a news release.

More Information

Here's the lineup for Chilifest, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, at Bedford Middle School -- before the kickoff at the Super Bowl later in the day.
Bobby Q's Barbecue & Grill, Westport
Black Cat Grille, Redding
Boat Yard BBQ and Grill, Stamford
Cask Republic, New Haven and Stamford
Chef's Table, Fairfield
Chilibomb, Fairfield
Geronimo, Fairfield and New Haven
Liquid Lunch, Milford and Shelton
Little Pub, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Wilton
Naked Greens, Norwalk and Wilton
Simply Delicious, Norwalk)
Southport Brewing Co., Southport, Branford and Milford.
In addition to the Westport Fire Department, firefighters from Bridgeport, Rowayton and Weston have committed to compete.

Attendees also can cast paper ballots to determine the winners of the beef, non-beef and firehouse categories.

Music will be provided by members of the Sacred Heart University band, and since it will be Super Bowl Sunday, organizers are urging attendees to wear their favorite football jerseys.

With Chilifest ending at 3 p.m., football fans will have plenty of time to get home or to a Super Bowl party for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

The first Chilifest was in 2011 at the Unitarian Church in Westport and attracted about 500 people in a snowstorm, organizers said. It returns this year after a four-year hiatus.

Bobby Q's Barbecue & Grill, the Main Street eatery that won the beef-chili crown in 2011, is competing again this year as the lone Westport restaurant.

For advance tickets or more information, visit www.Come2Chilifest.com,