ASHEBORO, NC - When Forbes Magazine claimed in 2008 that Asheboro was a dying town, local community leaders and business owners weren't happy. The following year, a local businessman started a new festival, the Asheboro Chili Cookoff. It was a raving success, but he moved away. So one of the sponsoring organizations has stepped forth to continue the momentum.

But there are some changes - like the name, rules and awards.

It has changed to the Old Time Chili Cookoff and it will be held on Saturday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bicentennial Park in Historic Downtown Asheboro. Various prizes will be given, including a People's Choice Award. And, the event will be held in conjunction with a street rod and classic car cruise-in.

The Randolph Heritage Conservancy, Inc. is putting on the event in conjunction with the Golden Corral restaurant in Asheboro.

In the midst of planning, cookoff organizers found out that the Asheboro Golden Corral was already planning to hold a fundraiser in downtown on that same day. It is a cruise-in to benefit the Children's Miracle Network (CMN).

The local restaurant is located in the division that supports the CMN efforts at Duke Hospital in Durham. Golden Corral, Inc. is a corporate sponsor of CMN, with restaurants in the northern Triad supporting Wake Forest Hospital.

So everyone got together and hammered out a cooperative event: "Cruisin' for Miracles" at the Old Time Chili Cookoff.

This is the fourth year that Golden Corral has held a cruise-in. "We were running out of space in our parking lot," explains Gerald Cain, operations manager for the Asheboro restaurant, "so we decided to move elsewhere. Downtown Asheboro was the perfect spot."

Conservancy president Mac Whatley feels the collaboration will bring more people to both events, increase awareness of local museums and historical efforts and the CMN - and give local people something else fun to do.

Cooks and judges will follow guidelines established through national and international rules and regulations. The deadline to register to cook chili is April 12.

For more information about the chili event, log onto, visit Old Time Chili Cookoff on Facebook or call 336-430-8372 or 336-629-1989. To register for the car show, email or call 336-625-6734.