By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Other | Issue: September 2009
Headliner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage will perform Saturday, September 12.
Families, friends, music fans and food lovers who are looking for the perfect end-of-summer event, search no more – the Bluegrass & Chili Festival has arrived. The 30th annual event will be held Thursday through Saturday, September 10, 11 and 12 at the Claremore Expo Center grounds.
"The Bluegrass & Chili Festival is a wonderful family event," says Dell Davis of the Claremore Chamber of Commerce. "We are excited to celebrate the 30th anniversary, with 10 years of that being in Claremore. There are so many volunteers who donate their time and talents to present this event each year."
The Mid-America Regional Chili Cook-Off and Salsa Competition is presented by IBC Bank and Air Products, and is an eagerly anticipated occasion each year. “The International Chili Society Division winning cook will represent the festival in the World Cook-Off that boasts a $25,000 first prize,” says Davis. “The Chili Appreciation Society International contestants will receive trophies, prizes and points for the International Cook-Off at Terlingua.” Non-profit divisions are also open to non-profits, schools and churches. The first prize of $1,000 will be awarded by ONG to the winner of the non-profit division. Official taster kits can be purchased to sample the award-winning chilis.
In addition to delicious food and three stages of entertainment, the Bluegrass & Chili Festival will offer a Festival Market with arts and crafts, Open Car Show, Kiddie Korral, The Best Country in the City Vocal Competition, Junior Showcase and dance exhibitions.
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder will headline the Bluegrass & Chili Festival on Friday, September 11.
The Festival Market will feature a wide variety of unique craft items, as well as showcase commercial business services and products.
Sonic’s Open Car Show gives festival attendees the chance to view some truly beautiful rides – classic and modern – and allow car owners to compete for trophies.
The Best Country in the City Vocalist Competition is presented by Walmart. Vocalists of all ages will be vying for a cash prize, and country dancers and cloggers will be offering dance exhibitions throughout the event.
The Junior Showcase is a non-competitive opportunity for those 21 years and younger to display their talents in singing, playing an instrument or dancing. The showcase, presented by McDonald’s, AT&T and Guitar House, provides youngsters valuable stage exposure and experience. New this year is an Antique Tractor Pull held on Saturday.
Major sponsors of the Bluegrass & Chili Festival include the City of Claremore, KOTV The News on 6, KVOO 98.5, Lafarge North America, RCB Bank, 1st Bank Oklahoma, Cox Communications and Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs. Cooperative sponsors include Grand Bank, Air Evac, Claremore Optimist Club, 1st United Methodist Church, Claremore Physicians Immediate Care, Big Country 99.5, and GRDA. Grant assistance was provided by Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment of the Arts, Williams Company and Tri State Engineering.
Festival hours are Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, and a $5 parking fee will be charged for each vehicle. For more information, call the Claremore Chamber of Commerce at (918) 341-2818. Visit www.claremore.org for a full schedule of events.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.