Two festivals wrapped together in one event will take place in Archbold, Saturday, Sept. 28.
Archbold will hold its first ever Carp Fest Fall Fest featuring a Chili Cook-Off.
Julie Brink, director of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, said attendance at the 33-year-old July Carp Fest was dwindling, and it took a lot of work to put the event together.
She said fall festivals had been well received, so it was decided to combine the two.
“Hopefully, it will be a good plan,” she said.
“We’ve been working on it all summer. We have eight chili cook-off booths– we would like to have more.”
There are also 28 vendors with very diverse offerings signed up, Brink said, adding, “We need more food.”
While there will be groups and events raising money for different causes, overall, the Carp Fest Fall Fest is not a fund-raiser.
“It’s basically a community event,” she said.
North Defiance Street will be closed to allow the event to be held in the downtown historic business district.
Events from the Carp Fest that have been incorporated into the fall festival include the Lions Club auction and the annual 5K Run/Walk for the Lights.
The auction is a fundraiser for the Lions Club; the 5K race raises money for the annual Christmas Festival of Lights display in Ruihley Park.
Also, the Black Swamp Arts Council will present the KidzZone, where children will make art projects under the direction of BSAC volunteers.
There will be pedal tractor pulls, bingo, an AHS alumni party, and a Michigan stiltwalker.
The stiltwalker, she said, walks on stilts, makes balloon animals, and tells stories.
He raises money to combat cerebral palsy.
A bicycle parade starts at 11 am at St. Peter Catholic Church.
A pie-eating contest features members of the AHS football team.
There will be a disc jockey, and a live local band.
Chili tasting starts at 10 am. Brink said judging this year will be done on a “payto vote” system.
People will be asked to purchase tokens. Votes will be registered by placing tokens in a container, or “ballot box,” for particular booths. The booth that collects the most tokens wins.
Tasting is free, but if a person wants a full bowl of chili, a freewill donation is sought.
One thing there won’t be at this year’s festival is beer.
Brink said the decision was based on the morning & afternoon times for the festival, and the fact that it’s intended to be a family event.
“The plans are coming together really well,” Brink said. “As long as the weather cooperates.”