Chili-Fest Will Fill Downtown NM Saturday
The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce is cooking up a feast of festivities for its 11th annual Chili-Fest to be held Saturday, rain or shine, on Main Street in New Martinsville.
Main Street will be closed at 10 a.m. for festivities to begin. At that time the Chili-Fest Queen Pageant will take place at the corner of the city building. A new addition to the Chili-Fest lineup, judging for this pageant is based on Chili-Fest themed attire and questions. Categories include the Golden Chili Pepper (age 60 and above), Mrs. Married, Miss Unmarried, Teen (age 16-19), Jr. Teen (age 13-15), and Junior (age eight-12). All contestants must be present by 9:15 a.m. to receive their contestant numbers.
Registration for the 5K run/walk and kids fun run race will take place at 10:30 a.m. at Christy’s. The race begins at 11 a.m. and takes runners through the streets of beautiful downtown New Martinsville. Awards will be presented to the top finishers in every age group within each category: kids half-mile run, 5K runners, and 5K walkers. The run is sponsored by West Virginia Northern Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Proceeds from the run will benefit PTK. The pre-registration fee is $11, registration the day of the race is $13. The fee for the kids’ fun run is $5. Make checks payable to Phi Theta Kappa and mail or drop off the registration form and money to WVNCC, 141 Main Street, New Martinsville, WV 26155. For more information call the college at 304-455-4684. Additional information and registration forms are also available at rivercityrunners.com/2010_race_calendar1.htm.
Also at 11 a.m. vendors can set up along Main Street. The chili sales, however, run from noon to 4 p.m. Taste off entries will be accepted at the Chamber Office beginning at noon.
Scheduled eating events include the traditional chili sampling and taste off as well as other heated competitions such as the hot pepper eating contest sponsored by Uncle Bunk’s at 12:30 p.m. and the hot dog eating contest sponsored by Tasty Freez at 1:30 p.m. Both of these events will take place in front of the Post Office.
Cash prizes will be awarded to chili vendors in three categories: businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals. There will also be cash awards for the best table decorations, best costumes by vendors, and a People’s Choice Award. The taste-off includes any items with a Mexican base such as breads, salsa, pepper spreads, relishes, etc. At 4 p.m. winners will be announced on the courthouse steps.
Other contests include a kid’s costume parade which begins at noon at Christy’s. Following the parade the children will walk back down Main Street for trick or treating. There will also be a Chili Pepper Royalty Pageant for kids age two to seven. These two pageants will take place at the corner of the city building at 2:30 p.m. As an added treat, S & S Jewelry has sponsored Miss West Virginia Cali Young to appear and emcee the Chili Pepper RoyaltyPageant.Miss West Virginia will also be available throughout the day for autographs and photos in front of the court house.
A native of Glen Dale, Young has used her Miss West Virginia scholarship earnings towards her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from West Liberty and now plans to complete a degree in Business with the additional scholarships awarded to her.
All day Chili-Fest festivities include children’s games and activities with jump castles and a corn hole tournament. By POPular Demand will create balloon art for children and adults alike. Other events and activities include the farmer’s market, live musical entertainment by Rob Campbell, Parlor City crafters, exhibitors, and vendors in the Shiben Building; an art contest sponsored by Florentine Arts Center, and the American Legion will perform a flag retirement ceremony at 2 p.m.
This year there are even more give-a-ways to the public. Each hour free raffle drawings will take place with prizes and gift certificates donated by local businesses.
Food must be prepared and cooked in a health department-approved kitchen with verification. Food handlers classes are available at the Wetzel-Tyler Health Department.
For more information or to register call the Wetzel County Chamber of Contest at 304-455-3825, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.wetzelcountychamber.com.