Starting today, you have plans for every evening until the end of the week. Where? Downtown, naturally. What? Sunset on the Riverfront (on Thursday), the Chili Cook-Off (on Friday), and the Fall Festival of the Arts and Crafts (on Saturday & Sunday). You’ve never been to any of them? Let me give you the scoop!
“Sunsets on the Riverfront are held from 5 – 8 PM the fourth Thursday of every month. The first event of the year is held in April and the last Sunset is in October in historic downtown Washington, Missouri. Downtown Washington Inc. and their sponsors invite everyone to come enjoy the family-oriented event which offers live music (usually a local band) , delicious food and drinks (provided by local restaurants, breweries and wineries), and a lively atmosphere at the Rennick Riverfront Pavilion. Developed in 2003, Sunsets have since become a staple in the community, bringing patrons to downtown Washington’s beautiful riverfront park after the winter season.”
– the event is FREE and everyone is welcome
– you can purchase food and drinks from local restaurants, shops, wineries and breweries
– go early if you are planning to eat there: the food is amazing and sells out quick
– feel free to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets
– bring your friends along, or if you go solo you will be sure to meet lots of people you know
– take a moment and enjoy the beautiful sunset over the riverfront, the golden light is amazing
On Friday evening, the 13th Annual Chili Cook-Off will be held at the corner of Main & Elm in downtown Washington, Missouri. I am ashamed to admit that for two years I wasn’t in a hurry to go to the Chili Cook-Off, because I did not know what it was. But after judging the booths last year, I had so much fun and I didn’t even suspect that the various kinds of chili can taste so different.
Each year there is a theme, and all participating teams from local businesses and organizations cook a huge pot of chili and serve it dressed up accordingly. You can buy a commemorative 2013 chili mug to taste up to 30 different chili’s and see decorated booths and costumes, all following this year’s theme “Superheroes”. Vote for your favorite team by putting money in their canister, all of which gets donated to the Franklin County United Way. I am dying to share some awesome pictures I took of the Washington Chamber of Commerce team (they are going to be dressed up as the Avengers this year), but I have promised not to spill the beans 😉
Sunset on the Riverfront and the Chili Cook-Off are just a prep up for the weekend of the 18th Annual Fall Festival of the Arts & Crafts. On Saturday and Sunday booths line up main and Elm Street and invite you to shop for beautifully handcrafted objects created by over 50 artisans. The festival is a great place to find unique gifts for yourself, or family and friends, including ceramics, pottery, jewelry, clothing, paintings, wood furniture, and more. This family-oriented festival also offers live music and a full food court.
As if all that is not enough, Downtown Washington Inc. also throws in Strassenfest. To better celebrate Washington’s German heritage, Strassenfest features German decorations, microbrew beer, German-type food, German entertainment over the weekend. Here is the entertainment schedule:
Friday, September 27 – Clay Caspari
Saturday, September 28 – Solo Richie 10:30-1:30
Saturday, September 28 – Polka Connection 2:00-5:30
Sunday, September 29 – St. Louis Express Band 11:00-3:00
For more information on these festivals and events, please contact Alex, Downtown Washington, Inc. Event Coordinator, at 636-239-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.