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The deadline is quickly approaching for three upcoming Main Street El Dorado projects and events, one of which is connected to a new festival that is slated for next month in the Union Square District.

Those who are interested in becoming a Certified Barbecue Judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society have until Friday to register for a judge’s school that is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. until noon, Sept. 21 at the El Dorado-Union County Chamber of Commerce, 111 W. Main.

Smoke on the Square, a new fall festival that is being launched Oct. 26 by Main Street El Dorado, will feature a sanctioned, Kansas City Barbecue Society cookoff.

On Tuesday, Beth Brumley, executive director of MSE, said a minimum of 24 people is needed for the judge’s school to take place.

“With this class, you’ll be able to judge anywhere in the United States,” Brumley said.

The cost of the class is $75, which must be paid in advance, said Holly Womack, MSE administrative assistant.

An additional fee of $40 is required to become a member of KCBS, Womack said.

Brumley explained that it is recommended that participants wait until the day of the class to pay the $40 KCBS membership fee.

“If there’s no class, they can get their $75 back. They can’t get the $40 back,” she said.

For more information, call the Main Street office at 870-862-4747 or the chamber of commerce at 870-862-6113 or visit www.smokeonthewaterbbq.com.

Improvement grants

Friday is also the deadline to submit applications for the MSE Mini-Grant Program, which offers matching grants of up to $1,500 for interior and exterior improvement projects for businesses within the Main Street District.

This year, $6,000 will be divvied up among grant recipients, Brumley said, adding that 12 businesses have expressed interest in applying for the mini-grant.

This is also the first year that the mini-grants can be used for interior projects, including painting, lighting, flooring and window treatments.

“Anything that stays with the building if the business owner leaves,” Brumley clarified.

The MSE Design Committee will sift through the applications, select the recipients and forward the proposed projects to Main Street Arkansas design consultants for review.

“We told them we would have a decision by Sept. 18,” Brumley said.

MusicFest pageant, 5K Run/10K Walk

Brumley also issued a reminder that Friday is the last day to sign up for the 2019 MusicFest Pageant without having to pay a late fee and the MusicFest 5K Run/10K Walk.

MusicFest will be held Sept. 27 and 28.

The pageant will be held at noon Sept. 22 in the First Financial Music Hall, 101 E. Locust.

The registration fee is $40. The cost for online registration if $43.

A discount rate of $35 registration is available for multiple contestants in same household. To qualify for the discount, contestants must sign up in the Main Street El Dorado office, 101 W. Main (BancorpSouth building), Suite 410.

After Sept. 13, contestants must pay a late registration fee of $60. Discounts for multiple contestants in the same household will not be offered after Sept. 13.

Admission into the pageant is $5.

The 5K Run/10K Walk is scheduled for Sept. 28.

Check-in starts at 6:30 a.m. and the race follows at 7:30 a.m.

Registration is $25 and online registration is available. Same-day registration will be available for $40 cash from 7 a.m. until 7:30 a.m. Those who sign up on the day of the race will not receive a T-shirt.

For more information about the MusicFest events, visit www.mainstreeteldorado.org.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 tlyons@eldoradonews.

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