2023 Community Chill Night

The 2023 Community Chill Night is DIY Lowell’s fifth annual chili and stew cook-off event! Experience music, games, community awards, and a DIY “Chilly” Dessert fun for everyone!

Our goal is to build community in Lowell by bringing together young people and elders, downtown and neighborhoods, townies and newcomers. This annual fundraiser celebrates the projects and events that have activated our underused spaces, brought diverse populations together, and made Lowell better.


The event is Thursday, March 30, 6:00 – 8:30 pm at the “Overlook” at Mill No. 5, Fifth Floor (250 Jackson Street).

Use the button below to buy tickets and RSVP/pre-register for the event.

The donation will include an option to let us know how many will be coming. After you donate, we’ll track your tickets from there–just tell us your name when you come to the event!

If you prefer to pay cash, you may donate at the door. In that case, feel free to email us at info@diylowell.org to let us know you’re coming and spread the word on our Facebook event!

$10 per attendee in Advance, $15 at the Door, and kids under 12 free. Prices are suggested donations, so donate as much or as little as you can–nobody will be turned away! If you pre-register, please let us know at the door the day of the event.

Community Honorees

We are so proud to announce Sothara Ly as Volunteer of the Year! In addition, our committee chose TWO community groups for the Community Transformation Award: Friends of Tyler Park and Free Soil Arts Collective!

Sothara Ly has been a dedicated Lowell super volunteer for over 10 years for organizations including Coalition for A Better Acre, City of Lowell Senior Center, Mill City Grows, and more! The list of things she’s done everywhere simply can’t fit here, from civic engagement, doorknocking, registration tables, food banks, connecting with the Khmer community, and so much more.

Each year, the Friends of Tyler Park hold a park clean-up, three summer concerts, and a family movie night. The concerts draw a decent crowd from the neighborhood, with free food, raffles, and a table or two of community organizations. Each month of the summer, kids in the neighborhood look forward to these events where they get to let loose and play together in Tyler Park.

Free Soil Art Collective‘s mission is to create opportunities for BIPOC artists in the Merrimack Valley to invest in their craft, develop new work, and share with the public in the place they call home. They haven’t limited their work to the gallery or theatre, however! In the last two years, they did public performances on Juneteenth, and they’re working with the City of Lowell to create a series of Black history signs downtown.

Chili and Stew Competitors

Chili in pots

Chili and stews at the Chill Night represent cultural traditions from around the world! All attendees can sample as many chilis and stews as they like. Winners in amateur and professional categories will be chosen by a vote and win a gift card and a framed certificate!

  • Douglas Bergeron, Beer, Beef, Battlestar Galactica
  • Chrissy Barbosa, Buffalo Chicken Chili 
  • SouthernTwist, Chunky South
  • Youthbuild Culinary, Turkey and White Bean Chili 
  • Fahmina Zaman, Rainbow Turkey Chili
  • CBA YES Program, Jalapeno Popper Chili w/ Corn Bread Dumplings
  • Trem Caipira, Honeycomb Stew (Dobradinha)
  • City of Lowell Planning & Development, Chicken and Chorizo Stew 
  • Mi Tiendita Boricua, Corned Beef
  • D’Youville Health and Wellness Center, Extremely Beyond Vegan Chili
  • Joe Wilkins, Kapusta (Polish cabbage soup w/pork)
  • Fresh Beets, Fresh Beets’ Frito Pie
  • Sahel, African Chicken Peanut Stew (MAAFE)
  • Joy Robinson, Joy’s Chili
  • Vaughn Horn, Chili Holiday
  • Andy Begamini, Frijoles Negros Sopa Espesa (Thick Black Bean Soup)
  • Sean Cronin, Cronin Chili Concoction
  • Lydia Herring, Mellow Bean Veggie Chili

Enter a Chili

Party band playing music

Comet ($1,000+)

  • Enterprise Bank
  • Greater Lowell Community Foundation
  • Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Charitable Foundation

Shooting Star ($500+)

  • Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

Big Dipper ($250+)

  • Dawn Grenier Consulting
  • D’Youville Health & Wellness Community
  • Eastern Bank
  • Jack Moynihan & Carolyn Walsh
  • Lowell Central Electric
  • Lowell Plan Public Matters
  • Studio 26
  • TMI, Inc.

Special Thanks

  • Brew’d Awakening Coffehaus
  • Coalition for a Better Acre
  • Mill No. 5
  • Tavern on the Square

We have special sponsorship packages for $100 to $1,000. Special perks for being a sponsor include VIP treatment for your organization, a banner at the event, and promotion on social media and on our mailing list.

Even if you aren’t from an organization, a donation would be a big help! After a year of Strategic Planning with our Advisory Committee, we’re kicking off a new era of DIY Lowell and raising funds to move our three-year plan forward to make sure DIY Lowell sticks around for the long term. Donations big and small will help us reach our goal.

Email info@diylowell.org with expressions of interest.

Volunteer to Help Out

Maria at table

We need help setting up activities, counting chili ballots, scooping ice cream, and more! Please consider helping us out on March 30. Click on the button for a form with all volunteer opportunities.


Photos by Henry Marte and DIY Lowell