Prescott Park's Chili Cook Off 10/10- new merger with Strawbery Banke

Prescott Park Arts Festival merges popular Chili Cook-Off
with Strawbery Banke Museum's Fall Festival

PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE - The 20th annual WHEB Chili Cook-Off, co-sponsored by Taste of the Seacoast Magazine, will bring the Prescott Park Arts Festival's 2009 season to a tasty close on Saturday, October 10th at 11:30am until "the chili is gone.". The event will take place this year across the street from Prescott Park at the Strawbery Banke Museum as a special collaboration with the museum's award-winning Fall Festival.

The Chili Cook-Off will host over a dozen restaurants from the Seacoast and surrounding communities to serve up their best chili in decorated booths as hundreds of people sample and cast votes for the 2009 People's Choice "Best Chili" and "Best Booth" awards.

"The Chili Cook-Off is such a great and fun fall event," said Prescott Park Arts Festival executive director, Ben Anderson, "People travel from all over the place to participate in and enjoy the event year after year."

Also new this year is the addition of Redhook beer for attendees to compliment their chili experience.

"Exceptional chili and great beer. It's a perfect match," jokes Anderson, "Years ago the two were featured together and we're bringing it back in response to continued requests from the public."

Past winners and hopeful contenders will be judged by celebrity guest judges and compete for this year's grand prizes: $1,500.00 of advertising from 100.3 WHEB and Taste of the Seacoast Magazine.

Attendees are given the opportunity to participate in the "People's Choice Award" category by casting a vote for their favorite chili. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early with their bowls filled until the pots are empty.

As a special collaboration, the popular Chili Cook-Off will take place on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum in conjunction with the museum's Fall Festival. Held in the same location, attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy both events for a single ticket.

The Fall Festival, selected as the Editor's Pick Best of NH last year, celebrates harvest time in a traditional New England country fair fashion. The event will feature a full variety of historic arts, crafts, heritage breed and farm animals, livestock demonstrations and special autumn activities. Some of the live demonstrations include sheep dog demonstrations, basket making, pottery and more.

"Prescott Park set out on a mission to establish new and strong collaborations this year and this is an excellent example," said Anderson, "It's a winning concept for everyone involved. For our audience, they get two great events instead of one."

Other Prescott Park Arts Festival collaborations this season include those with the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Seacoast Buy Local, Seacoast Slow Food, Redhook Brewery, and the Fishing Industry Committee. New resulting events include the NH Fish & Lobster Festival, NH BrewFest, and The Rep's Concerts in the Park

The WHEB Chili Cook-Off concludes Prescott Park Arts Festival's 35th season that featured a variety of events at the FairPoint Communications mainstage including the musical Grease, and performances by Richie Havens, Jonathan Edwards, Solas, and more.

"It was an absolutely fantastic season and I can't wait to do it again," remarked Anderson, "Attendance was up by almost 30 percent, we held a number of great new events, memorable shows, and had a wonderful time. We're already building new summer's season and have a number of new surprises in store for people."

Admission to the Prescott Park Arts Festival Chili Cook-Off is $15.00 for adults, $6.00 for kids 12 and under and free for Prescott Park Arts Festival members. The Prescott Park Arts Festival is handicap accessible. For more information, visit or call (603) 436-2428.