LINCOLN - Decorated businesses and cars will set up shop to distribute chili, soup and candy in downtown Lincoln from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Oct. 27 for the village's fourth annual Chili Cookoff and Trick-or-Trunk event, organized and sponsored for the third time by Lincoln's Downtown Development Authority.
The festivities on Second Street are open to everyone free of charge, though buying a $5 cup entitles visitors to taste test each of the chilis and soups being ladled out by 23 participating local businesses and judge for themselves which deserves a medal. DDA Activities Director Teresa Hart said all participating businesses will be set up in downtown Lincoln, except for the farmers market at the Alcona Recreation Area and the Lincoln Depot at its own location.
"We send a letter to all the businesses, and then they get back with us, the ones that want to participate. Not every business does, but a majority of them do. They're pretty good about it," she said.
Hart added the cookoff has gained popularity over the past few years, having sold out with 275 cups last year and another 70 styrofoam ones for half price after that.
"So this year I've ordered 325 cups, but we'll see what happens," she said. "And then when we did the Trick-or-Trunk, we had at least, if not more than, 300 kids that trick-or-treated down Second Street."
Trick-or-Trunk, which involves people parking their decorated cars on Second Street and handing out candy from their trunks, is especially for more rural residents with few trick-or-treaters but open to anyone from noon-1 p.m. that day. A pet costume contest will follow at 1 p.m., and the afternoon will conclude with an announcement of prizes for best chili and best decorated trunk and car based on popular vote.
What: Lincoln Chili Cookoff and Trick-or-Trunk
When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Where: Second Street, downtown Lincoln
"We do it for fun for the community too, but it's to bring people into our community so they see what we have to offer," Hart said. "We have fun and we do fun things here, and we just want people to know what we're about."
Hart also will set up a table with Naomi Potter to sell engravable slats for the fence around the Flights of Imagination playground for $20 apiece, a fundraiser to help refurbish the playground over time.
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.