Fall Festival of the Arts, Crafts

Patrons at the Fall Festival of the Arts and Crafts stop to admire some handmade holiday items at a previous event.  Missourian Photo.

More than 15,000 people are expected to visit Downtown Washington this weekend for the Fall Festival of the Arts and Crafts.

“It might be a little warm as we kick off fall and celebrate our German heritage, but we’re thankful there’s no rain in the forecast,” said Bridgette Kelch, executive director of Downtown Washington Inc., which sponsors the festival.

Activities were scheduled to begin Friday night with 31 teams competing in the Chili Cook-Off at the Main and Elm streets parking lot from 5 to 8 p.m.

Over 20,000 servings of chili are expected to be served, which comes out to 300-plus gallons.

The Fall Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. All of the activities will take place on and around the Main and Elm parking lot.

More than 60 crafters/artisans will be set up along Main and Elm streets both days selling photography, paintings, sculptures, metal pieces, jewelry, woodworks, clothing, quilts, carvings, vintage upcycled items and other artwork.

Live Music

In addition to the crafters, the festival will feature live, continuous music. 

On Saturday, Solo Richie will kick things off, playing German music from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by bluegrass band Stillapickin from 2 to 6 p.m.

Joe Fry the Guitar Guy will kick things off Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and the Washington Brass Band will close out the festival, playing from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Children’s Area

A special children’s area will be set up just off Elm Street, near Second Street, featuring games, crafts, pony rides, face and hair painting, and other activities.

The Washington High School CAPS students will assist with the games.

Tinkerbell, the baby T-Rex, will be on site both days and new this year, children can sign up to participate in Downtown Washington Inc.’s new History Heroes Kids Club.

The Washington public library and local 4-H clubs also will have activities in the children’s area.

Charming Chairs, Decor

The chair auction has been expanded this year to include other decorative items and prefestival viewing was available.

Some of the items are on display in downtown store windows and can be viewed online at bit.ly/2xXK0Uz. There’s also a link on the Downtown Washington Inc. website.

An online auction is underway and a silent auction will continue during the two-day festival. There also will be some buy and take items.

The Charming Chairs & Decor booth will be located on Elm Street and will have a new look this year.

A large food court will also be set up on the parking lot. Items will include hot dogs, pork burgers, brisket, pulled pork, nachos, homemade chips and more.

The Fall Festival will raise money for continued historic preservation downtown.