Past President Roseann Kennedy recalls the origin of the Vienna Chili Cook-Off:
"It was a challenge by then Police Chief Dave Ovesny, to Fire Chief Richard Brannon to see who could make the best chili. It was held in the Fire Station meeting room, not out in the bays. Only the fire and police departments made chili. People tasted each one and voted on their favorite."
The April chili cook-off was replaced by an Amish dinner in 2010, leaving only the October date for a chili cook-off.
Currently, the Vienna Chili Cook-Off is held annually on Columbus Day and dates back to at least March 29, 2004. The chili is made and donated by volunteers in the community. Judges are selected to test the chili before the cook-off to determine a winner in the following categories: Mild, Medium, and Hot.
After the judging, community members are invited to purchase chili and dine in the firetruck bays at the fire department.
The event resumed as an in-person event in 2021.
Contributors: Shirley Wittenauer, Roseann Kennedy, & Christine Novicky
"Judging Chili Is No Easy Task," Warren Tribune-Chronicle, October 9, 2012.
"Vienna: Chili Competition Heats Up," Warren Tribune-Chronicle, October 12, 2010.
"Arresting Taste: Police Take Title in Competition Benefitting Two Departments," Warren Tribune-Chronicle, October 14, 2008.
"Is It Hot In Here? No, It's Chili!", Warren Tribune-Chronicle, April 15, 2008.
 Trumbull Area Edition Free Press, Volume 9 - Number 49, March 27, 2004, page 1.