Teams are still being sought for the annual Chili Cook-Off set for Friday, Sept. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. on and around the Farmers’ Market and the Main and Elm parking lot.

The event serves as a kic off to the Fall Festival of the Arts and Crafts, which will take place that Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23, along Main and Elm streets.

The hours for the fall festival are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

All of the events are sponsored by Downtown Washington Inc.

“We have about 17 confirmed chili teams, and another four or five maybes, but we would really like to have close to 30,” said Bridgette Epple, executive director.

To register, interested teams can contact the office at 636-239-1743. The entry fee is $35.

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

Visitors to the cook-off 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 and includes a commemorative chili mug.

Arts and Crafts

The festival of the arts and crafts, now in its 17th year, will feature handmade items created by over 65 artisans.

“The festival is a great place to find unique gifts for yourself, or family and friends,” said Aimee Frey, event coordinator. “Visitors will find a variety of one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items including ceramics, pottery, jewelry, clothing, paintings, photography, wood furniture and many more items.”

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

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

Entertainment Schedule

The musical lineup will kick off with Paradise Sound Friday, Sept. 21, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept, 22, Solo Richies will play from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. followed by the St. Louis Express Band from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

Polka Connection will perform Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.                    

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