The WHEB Chili Cook-Off and NH Fall Festival on Columbus Day Weekend

The 24th Annual WHEB Chili Cook-Off and NH Fall Festival on Columbus Day Weekend

Portsmouth, NH – Saturday, October 12th marks Prescott Park Arts Festival’s much-anticipated, annual fall food festival: The WHEB Chili Cook-Off. This year, over a dozen local restaurants will be participating in the event to see who will walk home boasting the Best Chili title. For the 5th consecutive year, the Festival will team up with Strawbery  Banke Museum make this event a unique two-for-one festival pairing. The two non-profit organizations will share Strawbery Banke’s Puddle Dock to present the 24th Annual WHEB Chili Cook-Off, starting at 11:30 am, and Strawbery Banke’s New Hampshire Fall Festival, starting at 10 am.

“The WHEB Chili Cook-Off is a fantastic fall event that we look forward to hosting every year. The combination of local restaurants, great beer, New England fall activities, and the whole community coming out for one of our last events of the season makes for an unbeatable day,” says executive director Ben Anderson. “We couldn't be more excited to team up with Strawbery Banke once again to host the day’s festivities, and are looking forward to tying in the Memorial Bridge Road Race, as well.”

At Strawbery Banke’s NH Fall Festival, guests will experience a traditional New England country fair complete with demonstrations from craftspeople, heritage breed and farm animal exhibits, farm animal and livestock demonstrations. The Fall Festival will include special autumn activities in the Children’s Garden, canning and food preservation talks, fiber arts, demonstrations and exhibits on historic crafts and industries, coopering, harvest-themed crafts in the Family Discovery Center, garden tours and demonstrations. The Fall Festival’s gates will open at 10 am in Strawbery Banke’s Puddle Dock.

Starting at 11:30 am, a fine showing of local restaurants joining in the 24th Annual Chili Cook-Off will tempt even the most lackluster chili fan with their best recipes. Participating restaurants will include Agave Mexican Bistro Dos, British Beer Company, Dos Amigos Burritos, Fat Belly’s, The Holy Grail, The Kitchen, McKinnon’s Market, Ole Burritos and Beer, The Old Salt, The Portsmouth Brewery, Ri Ra Irish Pub, Serenity Café, and The Thirsty Moose. The Judge’s Choice award for best chili will receive free advertising Taste of the Seacoast Magazine, and People’s Choice will receive advertising with WHEB.

In addition all of the pipin’ hot chili available to guests, When Pig’s Fly Bakery will be on-site giving out fresh out of the oven bread samples, and The Juicery will be selling their fresh made juice and drinks. To complete the classic chili and beer pairing, Redhook Brewery will be on-site with a variety of their delicious craft brews.

Prior to the start of The Chili Cook-Off, will be the 1st Annual Interventional Spine Medicine Memorial Bridge Road Race. Hosted by Prescott Park Arts Festival and Community Child Care Center of Portsmouth, this 5K run will cross over the new Memorial Bridge, loop through Portsmouth’s historic South End, and conclude at Prescott Park. All runners will receive $5 off entry to Chili Cook-Off and the NH Fall Festival, plus a Free Drink Ticket voucher to be used at Chili Cook-Off. Learn more and sign up for the Memorial Bridge Road Race at

The Chili Cook-Off starts at 11:30am and will continue until the chili is gone.  The event is free for Prescott Park Arts Festival and Strawbery Banke Museum members, $15 for non-member adults, and $6 for children age 12 and under. Bring your own spoon or borrow a spoon from the Festival for a $1 deposit.

Prescott Park Arts Festival, a non-profit organization, is the Seacoast’s premier outdoor performing arts venue, offering a uniquely accessible experience of high quality live theater and music -- no fixed admissions fees -- in an idyllic natural setting.

For more information contact Ben Anderson at (603)-436-2848 or

Strawbery Banke Museum, in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an authentic 10-acre outdoor history museum, a National Historic Landmark, dedicated to bringing 300* years of American history to life. Strawbery Banke is a place to learn about architecture, heritage plants and foodways, traditional crafts and the tools, clothing and collections people used for everyday life in the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s and up through 1954 when the site was saved from urban renewal. Programs, exhibits and signature special events from May through December.