By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: September 2010
Don’t miss festival favorite Rhonda Vincent & The Rage.
Families, friends, music fans and food lovers who are looking for the perfect end-of-summer soirée, search no more – the Bluegrass & Chili Festival has returned. The 31st annual event will be held Friday through Saturday, September 9, 10 and 11 at the Claremore Expo Center grounds. The weekend of fun will include lots of scrumptious chili, countless free concerts by regional and national bluegrass acts, and much more.
The Bluegrass & Chili Festival boasts some amazing national musical acts. Thursday’s musicians include New Found Road and Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys. Friday will feature Dailey & Vincent and The Grascals. Saturday, check out Grasstowne, IIIrd Tyme Out, and headliners Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Over the weekend you’ll also enjoy the musical stylings of numerous talented regional acts.
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 in Manchester, New Hampshire in October that boasts a $25,000 first prize,” says Davis. In addition to the sanctioned ICS division, corporate, open and non-profit divisions give chili cooks the opportunity to participate. First prize in the non-profit division is $1,000, presented by ONG. 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 the Festival Market, Open Car Show, Kiddie Korral, The Best Country in the City Vocal Competition, and The Junior Showcase.
Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys are one of Saturday’s headliners at the 31st annual Bluegrass & Chili Festival.
The Festival Market will offer a wide variety of items for sale including jewelry, leather goods, home décor, clothing, and arts and crafts. In addition, booths showcasing local services and businesses will be on hand.
The Open Car Show, presented by Sonic and Melton Sales, gives festival attendees the chance to view some truly beautiful rides – classic and modern – and allow car owners to compete for prizes in over 44 classes. Pre-entry and day of show registration is available. An Antique Tractor Pull will also take place.
The Best Country in the City Vocalist Competition is presented by Walmart. Vocalists of all ages will vie for a cash prize of $500.
The Junior Showcase, hosted by AT&T and McDonald’s, is a non-competitive opportunity for those 21 years and younger to display their talents in singing, playing an instrument or dancing. The showcase provides youngsters valuable stage exposure and experience. Per Davis, all of these free family activities would not be possible without our Community Sponsors, TTCU The Credit Union, Optimist Club of Claremore, Urgent Care, Tiger Natural Gas, Grand Bank, GRDA, Claremore Electric, Guitar House, 1st United Methodist Church, Claremore Physicians ImmediateCare, Big Country 99.5, Air Evac Lifeteam, Williams Company and The Oklahoma Arts Council.
Major sponsors of the Bluegrass & Chili Festival include the City of Claremore, KOTV The News on 6, 98.5 KVOO, Lafarge North America, RCB Bank, 1st Bank of Oklahoma, Healthy Community Partnership, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs and RSU Public Media.
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 or visit www.claremore.org.
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.