Annual Chili and Salsa Cook-Off set for Saturday

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Over 90 vendors expected, plus family-fun events

The Cassville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Chili and Salsa Cook-Off event on Saturday on the Cassville square.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. This year's festival will include the theme of fall and will feature the favorite chili and salsa cook-off competition, live music entertainment from local musicians, a pet parade, a pumpkin painting and carving event followed by a pumpkin auction, food vendors and craft booths. About 90 vendors are expected.

Chili and Salsa Cook-Off

Chili and salsa will be ready to judge at noon. Prize money for both the top three chili and salsa cookers will be awarded along with People's Choice chili, People's Choice salsa, Best-Decorated booth and Most-Spirited booth.

First-place in each category will receive $150; second place, $100; and third place, $75. People's Choice award winners will receive $50. Community members will have the opportunity to purchase tasting kits at $2 per kit, and vote on People's Choice awards.

This year marks the first cook-off event for new Chamber Director Brittany Farris.

"I am thrilled to be part of the planning of the event from start to finish this year," Farris said. "The community looks forward to the cook-off every year. We have a great list of craft and food vendors that will be at the festival with local talent performing; it will be a great cook off."

A lineup of events is as follows:

* 5:45 a.m.: Committee members arrive

* 6 a.m.: Vendors arrive, begin set up

* 8 a.m.: Booths open, CD music playing -- Jason Blankenship

* 9 a.m.: Chili and salsa cookers meetings inside of courthouse

* 9 a.m.: Silent pumpkin auction sets up

* 9:30 a.m. Pumpkin painting and carving contest followed by pumpkin auction

* 9:30 a.m.: Registration for Herrin Animal Hospital Pet Parade on 6th Street, between chamber parking lot and Cassville Democrat parking lot

* 10 a.m.: Emcee Lane Truman takes the stage

* 10 a.m.: Pet Parade sponsored by Herrin Animal Hospital

* 10:30 a.m. to noon: Live music performed by Three in 1 band

* 11 a.m.: Chili Dog Challenge sponsored by Sonic

* 11:45 a.m.: Chili and salsa judges meet at United Methodist Church

* 11:45 a.m.: Submit chili and salsa for judging at the chamber booth

* Noon: Chili and salsa judging begins

* Noon to 1 p.m.: Live music performed by the 221 band

* 1 p.m.: Pumpkin silent auction closes

* 1 p.m.: Announce awards and event concludes

Pet Parade

Participants for the pet parade, which is sponsored by Herrin Animal Hospital, should meet on 6th Street, between the chamber office and the Cassville Democrat at 9:30 a.m. The parade of animals will begin at 10 a.m. Herrin will give prizes in the following categories: Best Trick, Best Smile, Best Costume, Best Bark and Biggest Feet. All who participate will receive a prize. Prizes for category winners will include a bag of food, valued up to $27 and Vectra 3D flea and tick products valued over $50.

Pumpkin Painting and Carving

The festival will have the pumpkin painting and carving contest for the second year. Pumpkin painting and carving must be completed on site. Participants can bring their own pumpkins, or one will be provided. They will have one hour to either paint or carve their pumpkins.

A team of three judges will select the winning pumpkin for each category and winners will be awarded $50 Cassville Cash. The competition will begin at 9:30 a.m. At the conclusion of the competition, Event Emcee Lane Truman, will auction off the pumpkins. All proceeds from the pumpkin auction will benefit the Christmas light fund. Those who purchase a pumpkin can make a tax deductible contribution to PACE, is a local 501(c)3 organization. Those who would like to participate in the competition should sign up at the chamber office before the cook-off.

Painting supplies will be provided by the chamber, but items used for carving must be brought by each individual.

Chili Dog Challenge

This year marks the 7th Annual Chili Dog Challenge contest, sponsored by Sonic. The eating contest will take place at 11 a.m.

The contestant to eat five chili dogs the fastest, or whomever can consume the most in 12 minutes, will win the title of Chili Dog Champion. The winner will receive $100 cash, along with a $100 Sonic gift card. Those interested in participating should sign up at the chamber office by noon on Friday.

The Show Performances

In conjunction with the cook-off weekend will be the 23rd year of The Show, featuring local band Hometown Sound & The RedHots, which has been entertaining audiences at the festival each year. Performances will also feature other local talent.

Performance are scheduled for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. This year's theme is Music Across America. Performances will be held at the FEMA Event Center. The performance schedule is as follows: Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. with a special matinee.

Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce office at 501 Main Street in Cassville, and at all area Cassville banks. Advance tickets are $7, and they are $8 at the door. Table seating is $15 individual and $75 for whole table (will include snacks).

Event shirts, featuring the logo designed by Cassville Art Department student, Joua Thao, will be available for purchase at the chamber booth.

Three star sponsors for the event include: Arning Companies, Barry Electric Cooperative, Commerce Bank, Fastrip, First State Bank, Freedom Bank, Hutchens Construction, MariCorp US, Security Bank, Whitley Pharmacy and Unique Cross Grains.

Two star sponsors include: Arvest Bank, All Points Recycling, Angel & Company, CPA's, PC, Barry County Advertiser, Cassville Democrat, City of Cassville, Les Jacobs Ford, Preferred Poultry Supply, Runnels Chiropractic, Security Insurance, Shelter Insurance, Subway of Cassville, The BBQ Station, Willis Insurance and Johnson Chiropractic.

One star sponsors include: Barry County Farm Bureau, Barry County Abstract and Title, Brattin Insurance, Jersey's, Michael's, Tomblin's Jewelry and Gifts, Copy Cat , and Sonic.

Committee members include: Annette Henderson, Bill Shiveley, Justin Gates, Mike McCracken, and Brittany Farris.

About five vendor spaces are still available just off the square. Booth spaces are $40 for a 10x10 space. If electricity is needed an additional $10 charge will apply.

For more information or any questions about the event, contact the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce at 417-847-2814.

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