Last Year's Chili Cookoff Event

Teams are still being sought for the annual Chili Cook-Off set for Friday, Sept. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. on and around the Farmers’ Market and the Main and Elm parking lot.

The event serves as a kick off to the Fall Festival of the Arts and Crafts, which will take place that Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, along Main and Elm streets.

All of the events are sponsored by Downtown Washington Inc.

Currently, about 23 teams are registered and the goal is 40, according to Alex Hodschayan, new event coordinator for the downtown group.

“We would really like to see a full house,” Hodschayan said.

The deadline to enter is Monday, Sept. 16. To register, people may call the office at 636-239-1743. The entry fee is $35.

This year’s theme is superheroes. Teams will compete for best booth and costume, in addition to top chili honors.

Visitors to the cook-off also will be able to vote for their favorite team by putting money in tip canisters, all of which gets donated to the Franklin County Area United Way. The United Way also will sell hot dogs and chips that night.

The cost to sample chili will be $7 if tickets are purchased in advance and $9 the day of the event and includes a commemorative chili mug.

Tickets can be purchased at the downtown post office.

Arts and Crafts

The festival of the arts and crafts, now in its 18th year, will feature handmade items created by over 50 artisans.

Visitors will find a variety of one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items, including ceramics, pottery, jewelry, clothing, paintings and wood furniture.

The family-oriented festival also will offer live music and a full food court.

To celebrate Washington’s German heritage, Strassenfest will again be part of the activities, featuring German decorations, microbrew beer, German-type food, German entertainment and a strudel bake-off.

The entertainment will kick off Friday night, Sept. 27, with Clay Caspari. On Saturday, Sept. 28, Solo Richie will play from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by the Polka Connection from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Sept. 29, the St. Louis Express Band will play from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, call the Downtown Washington Inc. office, 636-239-1743, or email