The 23rd annual Chili Cook Off will highlight the weekend in Downtown LaGrange Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.
The event is sponsored by the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority and in the past has drawn more than 1,500 people to Lafayette Square. It is a fun, family friendly event and is a great way for local groups to raise funds and increase public awareness about their charities and causes.
Members of the community will purchase a $5 ticket for the chance to sample a variety of chili and cast a vote for their favorite. Chef Henry Menard of Kimble’s Food by Design and Jeremy McCosh, food service director at LaGrange College, will be serving as Chili Cook Off judges this year to select the Best Overall Chili winner.
The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $200, second place earning a $100 prize. There is also the opportunity for cook off participants to earn prize money for the Best Decorated Booth and the People’s Choice award for Best Chili. All cook off entrants will earn some money just by participating, as the proceeds from the ticket sales will be equally divided among them, after the event expenses have been covered.
Event goers can also purchase soft drinks and lemonade during the Chili Cook Off. Mama Jama will attend the event and will pass out free children’s books at her tent on the square while supplies last. Island Entertainment is providing free karaoke on the Chamber of Commerce plaza from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Downtown LaGrange Development Authority has opened the event up to local groups and organizations in the community that have a cause that they would like to raise funds for. Last year’s winners – Dr. Bill Miller Orthodontics, which won judges’ choice, and Beall’s Plumbing, which won people’s choice – for best chili will be competing again this year. Some of the other groups and their sponsors participating this year include Emmaus Shelter, sponsored by LaGrange Banking Company; Troup County Prevention Coalition, sponsored by Twin Cedars; Harmony House, sponsored by Charter Bank; Delta Sigma Theta alumnae; United Way, sponsored by PNC Bank; Hope for a Day, sponsored by Titlebucks; DASH for LaGrange; and West Georgia Hospice, sponsored by Island Entertainment.
In case of rain, the cook off will be rescheduled to 1 to 5 Sunday.
Trick or Treat around the square
Several downtown merchants along with local industrial suppliers, businesses and a motorcycle riding club will be handing out Halloween candy Saturday to children in costume, ages 12 and under. There will be candy stations along the sidewalk on the north side of LaFayette Square.
Candy will be provided by Camp Academia, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, PowerTech, GAPS, Glovis Georgia, Mobis, JC Malone and Laurel Crossing Apartments.
The Guardian motorcycle riding club will be on East Lafayette Square and will pass out candy next to their bikes. They will have a few fall festival games for the children to enjoy as well.
The event is limited to children only. Trick or Treating will be 1 to 3 p.m., or while candy supplies last.
Halloween costume contest
This is an event for children ages 12 and under. There will be four age brackets and ribbons will be awarded for the best boy and girl costume in each bracket beginning with infants less than 12 months of age, ages 1 to 4, ages 5 to 9 and ages 10 to 12. Children must register for the contest at the registration tent on the square between 1 and 3 p.m. The contest will begin at 3 p.m.
Costumed pet parade and contest
The LaGrange Troup County Humane Society will be holding a costumed pet contest and will be registering participants on Lafayette Square from 1 to 3 p.m.
The pet costume contest will begin after the children’s costume contest, around 4:30 p.m.
• For more information on Saturday’s events, contact Barbie Watts at 706-298-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.