Warm up this fall at Chili Cook-Off

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Chili, car show, Show all scheduled for same weekend

The Cassville Annual Chili Cook-Off is coming this year, however, it is going to be a bit different from years before.

Rachael Selby Freeman, Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce director, said it is scheduled for Oct. 26, and the theme this year is, “Let’s go to the Movies.”

“We chose that theme because ‘The Show’ decided on that theme of songs from movies, and we wanted to stay the same,” she said. “The biggest thing that is new this year is that we are putting the car show in with the Chili Cook-Off.”

The Chamber’s car show has taken place in May for the last 30 years.

“This will be the first year that it has moved to be in conjunction with the Chili Cook-Off,” she said. “It is something that we are trying out this year to see how it goes over.”

Selby Freeman said this helps just to bring everything into one weekend.

“Both events will be held on Saturday, and the car show will be in the Methodist Church parking lot,” she said. “That parking lot is big enough to hold 100 cars.”

To register a vehicle for the car show, it will cost $20 per vehicle.

“The deadline to get registered for the car show, Chili Cook-Off or to have a craft booth is Oct. 16,” she said. “To register for a booth or the Chili Cook-Off the cost is $50.

“We usually have 100-120 people between craft or information booths and chili or salsa booths, and we seem to be on track for that this year. I expect to have 10 Chili Cookers and about five salsa booths.”

The votes for the best chili or salsa seem to go back and forth each year with no real reigning champion.

“The drug court group brings a really high level of energy, and they make a good chili,” she said. “Arning and Barry Electric are both pretty popular too, Barry Electric won best salsa last year.”

The chamber will have Chili Cook-Off and car show shirts for sale.

“We have had a lot of people ask if there will be separate shirts and there will be,” she said. “It will cost $3 for a tasting kit, and they can be picked up at the Chamber booth.”

Chili and salsa will be served at noon, and the cookers will have from 8 a.m. to noon to perfect their chili.

“The road and square will be closed by 8 a.m., which is when the public can go around looking at booths,” she said.

Another thing that is being brought back this year is the judges.

“The last few years, we have just done people’s choice and not had judges,” she said. “There will be a committee of about 15 judges that will all taste the salsa and chili in a separate place and decide on the winners.”

The Chamber aims for the Chili Cook-Off to be something that the community looks forward to.

“With the car show being added in this year, it just offers fun for everyone in one huge event,” she said. “Being a tourism-driven community, a goal for us is to get people to stay the night.”

Greg Beck, organizer for The Show, said last year, there were about 35 performers in The Show.

“I think we have a few more this year,” he said. “We have about 10 grade-school children in a choir this year, and that is new.”

Beck said the theme for The Show this year is “Songs from the Movies.”

“We did one a few years ago that was a TV and movie theme,” he said. “But this year it is all about the soundtracks.”

There will be songs from Pretty Woman, Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and many more.

“The Show usually lasts about 2 hours and 15 minutes,” he said. “We have a good show, with new people, and we look forward to everyone being there and enjoying their time with us.”

The Show is scheduled for Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Advanced tickets are on sale now for $7, and will be $8 at the door.

For registration for the car show, craft booth, chili cooking station or for The Show, people may call the Chamber office or download a registration form online.

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