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Washington Events

Sunset, Chili and Art Downtown: It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than That

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!

Sunset on the Riverfont always gathers a huge crowd downtown at the Riverfront Park.

Sunset on the Riverfont always gathers a huge crowd downtown at the Riverfront Park.

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

– in order to get drinks, you have to purchase drink tickets. You can do it at the event, or online.

– 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

Sunset on the Riverfront is a family-friendly event and a great way to spend a evening downtown.

Sunset on the Riverfront is a family-friendly event and a great way to spend a evening downtown.

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.

The participating teams in the Chili Cook-Off compete not only for the best chili, but also for the best decorated booth. Last year the theme was The Olympics.

The participating teams in the Chili Cook-Off compete not only for the best chili, but also for the best decorated booth. Last year the theme was The Olympics.

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 😉

The Chili Cook-Off brings a crowd downtown, but remember to bring a jacket with you because fall evenings can be a little chilly.

The Chili Cook-Off brings a crowd downtown, but remember to bring a jacket with you because fall evenings can be a little chilly.

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.

Shopping has never been more fun, when you can buy hand-crafted items from local artisans downtown, while enjoying life music and good food.

Shopping has never been more fun, when you can buy hand-crafted items from local artisans downtown, while enjoying life music and good food.

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

To make all of these events possible, Downtown Washington Inc. relies heavily on volunteers. These lovely ladies pour beer on Saturday night, dressed in Strassenfest attire. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. Go and enjoy yourself downtown this weekend, and remember to visit the local shops and restaurants while you are at it!

To make all of these events possible, Downtown Washington Inc. relies heavily on volunteers. These lovely ladies pour beer on Friday night, dressed in Strassenfest attire. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Go and enjoy yourself downtown this weekend, and remember to visit the local shops and restaurants while you are at it!

For more information on these festivals and events, please contact Alex, Downtown Washington, Inc. Event Coordinator, at 636-239-1743 or events@downtownwashmo.org.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.

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