The 12th-annual Burnin’ Down Main chili and hearty soup cook-off will be Oct. 5 at Main Street plaza on the corner of Main Street and Marlin.
Cooking will begin at 8 a.m. and end at noon. The public will judge entries from noon to 2 p.m., and winners will be announced at about 2:15 p.m.
Each entry costs $25 to register. The winning entry will be awarded $500. Second place will win $250, and third place will win $100. Entries are due Sept. 21.
Contestants must supply at least three to four gallons of chili or hearty soup per entry for public sampling and voting.
Participants must supply all ingredients as well as a heat source for cooking. Meat and a few other ingredients may be precooked or otherwise prepared beforehand. All others must be prepared on-site.
Those wishing to use alcohol as an ingredient must bring the alcohol in a pre-measured, labeled container, and the entry must be labeled as having alcohol as an ingredient.
Anne Engel, executive director of McPherson Main Street, said this rule exists as a courtesy to those who don’t drink alcohol, even though the alcohol cooks out.
No alcohol consumption is allowed at the event.
Due to limited electricity, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce recommends contestants use camping-type stoves, turkey fryers and other heat sources that use butane, propane or charcoal as fuel. Participants may bring a maximum of 10 gallons of fuel.
Those wishing to use electricity should call the chamber to confirm and bring their own extension cords to connect to electrical outlets.
A dessert competition also will take place. All desserts must include apples as an ingredient and be entered between 10 and 11 a.m. Oct. 5.
Dessert entries cost $10 each to register and must be finished prior to check-in.
A three-person panel will judge the desserts, and the winning entry will be published in the McPherson Sentinel and on the McPherson Main Street Facebook page. After judging, desserts will be served to the public.
Engel said the event helps raise awareness for Main Street businesses.
“We want to expose people to the downtown area,” Engel said. “It brings the community together.”
Other attractions will include a large TV screen for watching sports and vehicles, such as ambulances that children can explore.
Admission will cost $5 per person. Ballots are included with the price of admission.
Those looking for more information about the event or event rules can contact McPherson Main Street at 241-7430 or visit the McPherson Main Street web page at www.mcphersonmainft.org.