6th Annual Tri Tip Cook Off

New Year...New Location... Still #1

The City of Imperial is excited to host the 6th Annual Tri Tip Cook Off on February 25, 2017 in Downtown Imperial. The event is set to take place from 5pm to 9pm at the intersection of Barioni Blvd. and Imperial Avenue.  When asked about the change in location Community Services Director Ember Haller stated “We have outgrown the park. The City looks forward to the new venue for this event and the opportunities that come with it.” The Tri Tip Cook Off draws an average attendance of 6 to 7,000 attendees. “We base that count on the amount of tasting tickets we sale each year,” said Haller.

This year eighteen (18) teams will compete for the Title of Tri Tip Champion; four of which are from out of town. Each team has the potential to win up to $5700 in cash prize through various categories.

Returning 2016 Champions Republic Services are looking forward to competing this year. We spoke with Team Captain Gerald Richardson about his thoughts towards the event. “We keep coming back because it’s a wonderful small town country feel event and we love working with the City of Imperial; It gets bigger and better every year.” said Gerald. Republic Services has competed in all the Tri Tip Cook Off’s since 2012. Last year was the first year they brought home the championship. “We worked hard for it for five years. We didn’t think we would come home with the Championship, but that’s not why we compete in the first place.” Republic Services donates 100% of their earnings from the Tri Tip Cook Off to the Imperial Quarterback Club. “Last year we were able to donate $3000 since we won Best Booth and Tri Tip Champion.” The City asked Richardson what advice he would give to new competitors. “Don’t come in with an attitude of trying to take the titles away from everyone. Do it as a team building exercise for your organization and have a cause to give back to.”   

Even if Beef isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to do at the Cook Off. The Tri Tip Cook Off is the fifth (5) event in the City’s Imperial Market Day’s series, which is another reason the event has relocated to Downtown. Ember Haller stated “Besides needing the additional space, we wanted to make the Tri Tip Cook Off consistent with the other Market Day’s events; all in Downtown from 5pm to 9pm.” The Tri Tip Cook Off will feature all Market Day classics such as local vendors, artisan eats and children’s activities. The City will provide the “Local Market” with the Julian Pies, Dudley’s Bread and Local grown produce.  There will be plenty of activities for the kids such as Kidz Party Palz Face Painting, Fun-4-All Inflatable Batting Cage, IV Discovery Zone and FREE Mechanical Bull Rides. Or, leave the kids at home and visit one or both of Imperial’s newest additions to downtown, Pentagonal Brewing Co. and Humble Farming Brewing Co. All while listening to the classic country sounds of Tina Michelle and the Rhinestone Cowboys.


Tri Tip Tasting Tickets are on sale now at the City of Imperial City Hall and Public Library. Tickets are sold in sheets of 10 for $10 and include two people’s choice ballots. For questions regarding Imperial Market Days or the Tri Tip Cook Off, please call City Community Services at (760) 355-3316.