Alma Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a “very few rules” chili cookoff and “weenie dog” race in conjunction with its Holiday Farmers Market on Oct. 28.

The first Main Street Very Few Rules Chili Cookoff is set for Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Farmers Market pavilion at 533 Fayetteville Ave. in Alma.

There are only two rules for the cookoff, said Alma Area Chamber of Commerce Director Bryan Huff: One, label the chili with the type of meat used; two, have fun.

Chili prepared for the event can come from anywhere and be prepared by anyone, and cookoff teams are allowed to use any means necessary to get votes, including “bribes,” Huff said.

“I encourage teams to be creative,” Huff said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with to get votes and people to their table.”

Trophies will be given out for people’s choice, mayor’s choice - which will be decided by a panel of judges chosen by Alma Mayor Keith Greene, and best spirit.

“The team that has the most fun and best decorations will be recognized for best spirit,” Huff said.

Those attending the cookoff can purchase taster kits for $5, which allow unlimited samples from cook-off contestants, Huff said.

There is no fee to enter the cookoff, he said.

“This event was created as an opportunity for businesses, churches and other groups to meet potential new customers or members,” Huff said. “It’s a great way for new businesses to meet new people and for established businesses to show their appreciation.”

Proceeds raised from the event through the sale of taster kits will go toward the creation of a downtown merchants association and its future projects, Huff said.

“The purpose is to raise money for the Main Street merchants so that we can do something to help beautify Alma’s downtown area, such as installing artwork or benches,” Huff said.

Entry forms for the cookoff are available by calling (479) 632-4127 or emailing

Also being held during the Oct. 28 holiday market is the Weenie Dog and Wannabe Dash, a series of races for dachshunds and other small dogs.

One race, the Grand Weenie Race, will be held for dachshunds only at 12:30 p.m. The Wannabe Dash will be held after the grand race for all small dogs that have registered.

A dog costume contest will be held at noon.

Cost of registration for the dog races is $25 per dog, and $10 for the costume contest.

All dogs must be registered by Friday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m. Registration forms can be found on the Facebook event page.

Each registered dog will receive an official race bandana, a participant and heat number and race instructions. Bandanas will be used to identify dogs in each heat.

First, second and third place winners will be announced for each race.

For more information, contact Traci Taylor at or (479) 461-6774.

Alma Farmers Market Holiday Market, the last farmers’ market of the season, is being held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All vendors are welcome to participate, and booths are $20 to rent. Proceeds from booth fees will go toward promotion of the event, said organizer Marilyn Sneed.

Applications for vendor booths are available on the Alma Farmers’ Market website.