Main Street El Dorado is kicking off its 2023 events season this month with its annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Shamrockin' on the Square is set from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. March 11 in downtown El Dorado and MSE has ensured that those five hours will be jam-packed with a variety of activities to keep the crowd entertained.
Admission for Shamrockin' is free and some activities will be paid. An ATM will be onsite.
MSE is teaming up with Code 3 Services, LLC, and other sponsors to present Shamrockin' 2023.
Beth Brumley, executive director of MSE, said a few new activities have been added to this year's event to complement old favorites.
The day will include Grill Wars, kids' activities, a DJ, karaoke, food, Arkansas's Largest Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship and more.
"We are so excited to ... give the public a chance to experience our beautiful downtown and all it has to offer," said Brumley. "We can't wait to see everyone downtown."
Activities throughout the day will include:
Grill Wars: Chili Cook-Off
Cooking starts at 9 a.m. for competitors in the chili cook-off, which is sanctioned by the International Chili Society and sponsored by J Richard Morgan CPA, LLC.
Judging begins at noon.
The cook-off is open only to ICS members and youth contestants.
More than $2,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded in four categories: Traditional Red, Homestyle, Verde and Salsa.
The top three cooks in each category and all youth cookers will be invited to participate in the World Championship Chili Cook-Off, which will be held Sept. 29 - Oct. 3 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Prizes in the Traditional Red category include first place - $500 cash, a trophy and certificate; second place - $250 and a certificate; and third place - $125 and a certificate.
The entry fee is $35 for the Traditional Red category.
In the Homestyle category, the first-place winner will receive $300, a trophy and certificate.
Second and third place winners will each receive a certificate and $200 and $100, respectively.
In the Chile Verde category, $250, a trophy and certificate will be awarded for first place; $125 and a certificate for second place; and $75 and a certificate for third place.
The top three finishers in the Salsa category will receive $150, a trophy and a certificate for first place; $75 and a certificate for second; and $50 and a certificate for third.
Attendees will be able to sample "all-you-can-eat chili" for $10 and vote for their favorite for the People's Choice Award.
Cookers must prepare two gallons of chili for the public tasting, which will take place from 1 until 3 p.m.
Registration is underway for the chili cook-off.
Entry fees are $35 for the Traditional Red category; $30 for Homestyle; $25 for Verde; and $20 for Salsa.
Teams may register for one or more categories by visiting www.chilicookoff.com.
The entry fee for youth cooks is $10.
Youth contestants cannot register for the cook-off online.
They may enter by calling Holly McDonald, MSE administrative assistant, at the Main Street office at 870-862-4747.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship
Registration begins 2:30 p.m. and the competition starts at 3 p.m. on the west (Washington Avenue) side of the Union County Courthouse.
The championship is open to competitors ages 10 and older. Henry Frisby will emcee the event.
The entry fee is $5 and the winner will take home a "huge" trophy and bragging rights.
Pot of Gold: Green or Orange
The annual Pot of Gold game will come with a new twist this year, organizers said.
Presented by Noalmark Broadcasting, Green or Orange will be a heads-or-tails game, rather than the typical scavenger hunt format.
The game is open to players who are 12 and older and the winner will receive a $200 cash prize.
Noalmark will begin its live radio broadcast on location at 10 a.m. and the game will start at 1 p.m.
Music and karaoke, another new activity, will start at 11 a.m. with emcee Jeremy "Jay-O" Owens on the ones and twos.
The public is invited to participate in karaoke for free.
Fun Zone will include attractions and games for adults and children, with inflatables, yard games (Giant Jenga and Giant Connect 4), Baggo and more.
Adult beverages of all sorts will be sold from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sodas and water will also be available for purchase.
All purchases in the beer garden will be cash-only.
The beer garden is open to adults who are at least 21 years old. A government-issued photo ID will be required.
Event-goers are invited to "come out to enjoy the best food in the region" in downtown restaurants.
MSE will also be selling plates with one pound of shrimp or three pounds of crawfish for $25 each. Plates will include all the fixings. King Kone Sno Cones will also be onsite selling cool treats.
Any business or organization who is interested in vendor space at Shamrockin' may complete an application online by clicking the "Become an Event Vendor" tab at www.mainstreeteldorado.org.
Available spaces include 10x10 feet for $25 without electricity and 10x20 for $75 with electricity. Special pricing is also available for nonprofit organizations.
Applications must be completed and payment remitted by March 6. Setup will take place between 8 and 10 a.m.
For more information about Shamrockin', call the MSE office at 870-862-4747, send an email to [email protected] or visit the MSE website at www.mainstreeteldorado.org or Facebook page.