Harvest Fest’s heritage weekend offers food, music, classic cars

WHAT A BEAUTY—Last year this car buff (father to our own Police Chief Dave Jones) was proud to show off this beauty. The vehicle is complete with a recreated drive-in dinner and companion.

WHAT A BEAUTY—Last year this car buff (father to our own Police Chief Dave Jones) was proud to show off this beauty. The vehicle is complete with a recreated drive-in dinner and companion.

The classic cars roll into Rockford Saturday, October 3, one of a town-full of attractions for this weekend’s Harvest Fest. Returning is an annual chili cook off, now organized by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, along with the festival itself. For the second year, enjoy a Fiddle Fest on the banks of the Rogue River.

Rockford’s heritage is the highlight of this weekend’s entertainment and the Chamber invited all to step back in time. The days of events begins with a bake and rummage sale starting at 8 a.m. at the Towers parking lot. At 10 a.m. set-up begins for the chili contest in the Rotary pavilion on the corners of Courtland and Squire streets.

Chefs are invited to prove their prowess in chili with the cook-off. Organizer Lori Vorpi of Vorpi Chiropractic has reinvented the contest this year, and for the first time five chilis will be chosen for recognition. Judging will begin at 3 p.m. for first through fifth place, and judging by the public will begin at 3:15 for people’s choice and best booth. A $25 donation is required by participants, and each team (limit of three people per team) must cook a minimum of two gallons of chili.

According to the Michigan Department of Health rules, all meats must be purchased from a store, so no wild game may be used. No homemade, home canned or home processed ingredients are allowed and no porcelain or enamel-coated containers are allowed.

In the past, chili winners have revealed their secrets to the Squire, and they have included blends of heat from different peppers, white sauce ingredients for chicken chilis, and other ingenious or family secret ingredients. For more information about the cook off, call Lori at (616) 866-1081 or email vorpichiro@aol.com.

While waiting to taste the cook off results, enjoy the beauty of some classics in the City of Rockford parking lot. The classic car show is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with no registration required. Last year’s show included plenty of gems, many lovingly restored.

For the second year, enjoy live music from musicians from all over with the Fiddle Fest from noon to 1:30 p.m.

These events are just a few of many happening in Rockford during the remaining two weekends of Harvest Fest (see schedule, opposite). For all ages, there is sure to be plenty to see and do while enjoying an old-fashioned festival in our fair town. The last weekend, Children’s Week is coming up October 10 and 11.

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