Annual Festivals: Chugwater Chili Cookoff

The stories and legends handed down through the years about the origin of the name “Chugwater” are many and widely varied. The more popular versions re-tell of how Indians stampeded buffalo over nearby cliffs and when the animals fell into the water below, a “chug” sound was heard. In any case, the citizens of this small agricultural community are proud of their town and its unique name.

Swan Land and Cattle Company, one of the largest cattle outfits in the United States which operated for over seventy years, was headquartered in Chugwater. The company’s 113,000 head of cattle once ranged from Rawlins, Wyoming, on the west to Ogallala, Nebraska, on the east and from Cheyenne to the North Platte River.

One of the more famous things to come out of Chugwater in the past few years is Chugwater Chili. A unique little business selling their secret Chili recipe to anyone interested. Spawning an annual chili cook-off, the event is held every year in June.

Population: 244
Elevation: 5810
Region: Central