Downtown square comes alive on Saturday

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cassville is the place where you can sample delicious chili, shop for distinctive arts and crafts items, run a half-marathon and enjoy a two-hour musical production all in one weekend.

On Saturday, the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 13th annual Fall Festival and Chili Cook-Off around the downtown square.

Chili cookers will be able to set up at 6:30 a.m. and booths will open at 8 a.m. A pet parade, sponsored by Herrin Animal Hospital in Cassville, will begin with registration at 10 a.m. in the Commerce Bank parking lot. Judging will start at 10:30 a.m. and prizes will be awarded after the pets are paraded around the square.

Chili-tasting kits will be sold for $2 each at the chamber booth beginning at noon. Colored beads included in each kit will allow chili tasters to vote for their favorite chili recipe and their favorite booth.

First, second and third place awards will be presented in the amateur chili division. These cash awards will be $100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third. First, second and third place awards in the corporate division will feature $200, $150 and $100 cash prices.

The chamber will also be awarding trophies and gifts to the first, second and third place winners in the showmanship division. A People's Choice Award, a Spirit Award and a Best Decorated Booth Award will also be presented.

Chili cookers who compete nationally will also be judged in the CASI division, which features awards for the top 10 competitors.

This year's competition will also include salsa. First and second place prizes of $100 and $50 respectively will be handed out in each of the hot and mild salsa categories. The chamber also will award a trophy for the People's Choice Award.

According to Amy White, the chamber's executive director, there are 20 chili cookers and seven salsa makers signed up for the Cook-Off. She also reported that all booth space has been taken.

The festival will also feature several different forms of entertainment throughout the day. The Bootkickers will perform at 10 a.m. on the main stage followed by a gymnastics demonstration at 11 a.m. A martial arts demonstration will be provided at 11:30 a.m., and Shelly's Showstoppers will perform at 12:15 p.m.

Local merchants will open for business at 9 a.m. with special sales.

Run and silent auction

In addition to Chili Cook-Off activities, the first annual Whitney Cline Fall Classic 5K and 15K runs will take place at Cassville Aquatic Park on Saturday. There will also be a car show held that day in memory of the teenager who was killed in a car accident on Oct. 1, 2004. The car show, the two running events and a silent auction will all benefit the Whitney Cline I Can Scholarship Fund.

Race day registration will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the park, where the races will begin and end. Both the 5K and 15K runs are scheduled to begin at noon, according to Terry Jamieson, race director. The entry fee is $10 for the 5K run and $20 for the 15K.

Awards will be presented in six age divisions for male and female runners. Award divisions are: 20 and under; 21-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; and 60 and over. There will also be medals presented to the top five overall finishers in the male and female divisions.

Brad Hanson, CHS principal, will serve as official race starter on the day of the run.

The silent auction will take place on the downtown Cassville square as part of the Fall Festival. A full listing of auction items is included in a separate article on page 5.

During the silent auction, Tic Toc Karaoke, owned by Jason and Robyn Blankenship, will provide music to be enjoyed by all who attend the festival. Several different CHS clubs are planning to sponsor activities on the square with all proceeds benefitting the scholarship fund, and Jason Gaskill will provide food concessions.

Stone County Sheriff Richard Hill will be bringing his impaired driving simulator to the event. "Sidney," as the car is named, will be in action on the chamber parking lot during the festival.

The car show will take place in the First United Methodist Church parking lot in Cassville. Awards will be given to the top 50 cars. There will also be a "Whit's Choice" trophy presented.

The cost to enter the show is $15 per car with all proceeds to benefit the Whitney Cline I Can Scholarship Fund. Registration for the car show begins at 8 a.m. with awards presented at 1 p.m.

For more information on the car show, contact Larry Daniels at 846-7306 or e-mail him at For information on Whitney Cline Fall Classic, call Terry Jamieson at 847-3137.

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