SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off is a beloved annual fundraising event for McKinley Elementary School that is attended by school families, but also the general public. It is 100% McKinley parent and surrounding community volunteer operated and 100% of the proceeds go to The McKinley Foundation. 

The event always takes place on the first Sunday in December, from 11am – 5pm in North Park (down the street from McKinley Elementary). Thorn Street from 31st Street to Bancroft, and 32nd Street from Thorn Street to Upas Street close down to hold this event. 

Please check out the SoNo Fest website (run by parent volunteers) for lots of information about the event!

Reach the current SoNo Fest Chairperson, McKinley 1st grade parent, Brijet Myers:

5 ways to HELP the 2021 SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off event be a success

  1. Spread the word! This is a beloved community event, and telling your friends and family about it is the best way to make SoNo Fest a success. Like, comment and share our social media pages (facebook & instagram). Not on social media? No problem! Email people you think may enjoy this event, tell your neighbors when you’re walking down the street, invite people you work with to join the fun. Dining at your favorite restaurant? Please ask them to participate in the Chili Cook-Off! It’s easy and doesn’t cost you anything to help promote SoNo Fest.

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  1. Sponsorship! McKinley Families, please share the sponsorship information with businesses you know or work with. If you own your own business, please sponsor SoNo Fest! It’s a great way to get your business in front of many people in the McKinley School community and also 20,000 people who come out to the event. Find the current sponsorship packet here: 2021 SoNo Sponsorship
  2. Join the Committee! Many hands make light (or at least light-er) work. This is the biggest committee to join at McKinley- and it takes a lot of parents to pull this event off. There are jobs from making a few phone calls or sending emails, to meeting on the street at 4am and setting up the whole event, and everything in between. This is a great way to get to know other McKinley families, network with the North and South Park communities and best of all: make a difference.
  3. Recruit! Ask restaurant owners and Chefs to participate in the chili cook-off, brewery/cidery/winery/distillery owners to join the booze garden, hand-made vendors to book a booth, food trucks to serve up their grub, and more. SoNo always needs help getting participants- without whom we cannot throw this event! This is also part of being on the official committee, but we ask all McKinley families to mention SoNo to possible participants. 
SoNo Chili Maker Form
SoNo Vendor / Food Truck Application 
SoNo Booze Garden Form 
  1. Volunteer at the event day-of! SoNo Fest utilizes over 200 day-of volunteers! McKinley families (parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc), McKinley teachers & staff, community members, and volunteer groups all participate to make the event happen. Duties include: set up, assisting restaurants in serving chili, pouring booze beverages, selling shirts, working the information booth, break-down and clean up. Share with your family, friends, co-workers, favorite community group, etc. Sign up now for the duty and time slot you prefer:

Be a part of this very special and unique McKinley community event!