For the first time, the Fall Festival of the Arts & Crafts will have crafters beginning on Friday night and continuing through Sunday.

This year’s event will take place Sept. 21-23 in Downtown Washington.

In the past, a chili cook-off was held Friday night as a kickoff to the fall festival. The Chili Cook-Off has been moved to Friday, Oct. 26, in hopes for cooler weather.

“The fall festival will feature over 60 artisans with beautifully handcrafted items lining the streets of downtown,” said Bridgette Kelch, executive director of Downtown Washington Inc., event sponsor.

“Unique gifts, one of a kind items, and fun for the whole family will be in no short supply at this annual event,” she said. “Visitors will find clothing, paintings, furniture, home decor, a farmers’ market and much, much more.”

Live Music, Food

Kelch said there will be live music all weekend, as well as a full food court.

The entertainment lineup will kick off with Dave Bennett on Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. On Saturday, Solo Richie will perform from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. followed by Stillapickin from 2 to 6 p.m.

The Washington Brass Band will play from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday to close out the festival.

Additionally, there will be a children’s area with activities and games for kids to participate in, including Tinkerbell the Baby T-Rex, an indoor jungle gym, and pony rides.

Charming Chairs

Again this year, there will be a Charming Chairs and Home Decor booth set up on Elm Street as a fundraiser to benefit continued historic preservation downtown.

Kelch said as furniture pieces are completed and donated, they will displayed in downtown store windows and other retail locations prior to the festival.

These items also will be added to an online auction site and people can bid on these creations now and during the festival.

“You can give our volunteers the maximum bid you would like to place for auction items and they will keep up with the bidding for you,” she said. “They will call you when someone outbids your max to see if you would like to increase your bid.”

Additionally, people can vote for their favorite piece and a People’s Choice trophy will be presented.

There also will be some “buy and take” items, such as blankets, wash loths and signs, that can be purchased and taken immediately.

The Fall Festival will run Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 to 4 p.m.

Kelch said downtown stores will be open with extended hours during the festival.

For more information, contact Downtown Washington, Inc. at 636-239-1743 or events@downtownwashmo.org.