This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Saturday, September 10
Summer may be in the rear-view mirror, but the season's essential picnic treat will be celebrated at the is the U.S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed Spitting Championships, with competitors across multiple categories trying to best their peers in time and distance, and perhaps even set a new record. Watermelon carving contests are also part of the program. It's not all competitive, though, as free slices will be served to all. A baked goods live auction, an open air market, live music, and children's activities round out the day. Chandler Park, Chandler Park Dr., Pardeeville, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Call 608-697-6744 for more info.
Competitive cooking is at the heart of Chilimania in Edgerton, one of two such showdowns in Wisconsin today. This 22th annual edition of the , an "anything goes" traditional chili cooking contest, and a salsa competition. A public tasting session follows judging, with the chef contestants serving samples of their creations. This bumper crop of chilis will be accompanied by food vendors and live music. Chilimania Grounds, Henry St., Edgerton, 11 a.m.-midnight, $6 adults and kids under 12 free. See Facebook and Twitter for more details, or call 608-884-3358 for more info.
Capsicum fanatics will find another dose of heat at the Wisconsin State Chili Cook Off Championship in Green Lake. Sanctioned by the contest offers a single general category of traditional red chili. A sampling session likewise follows judging in this competition, and the Thirsty Troll Brew Fest in Mount Horeb rounds out a lively month of beer tasting revelries in southern Wisconsin. More than two dozen regional brewers will serve some 150 beers at this ninth annual festival, including the final keg of Sesquicentennial Brew made by the 150th birthday of the western Dane County community. The fun also includes food vendors, live music, and photo opportunities with Jorgen the Thirsty Troll. Grundahl Park, 400 Blue Mound St., Mount Horeb, 1-5 p.m., $35 or $30 adv. Call 608-437-5914 for more info.
More events this week
Wednesday, September 7
Friday, September 9
Wild West Days, the 54th annual community Fish fry fundraiser for the Rosenberry Society fund at the The Old Fashioned, 23 N. Pinckney St., multiple seatings between 5-9 p.m., $35. Call 310-4545 for more info.
Saturday, September 10
Sacred Hearts Fall Festival, an annual parish festival and fundraiser for Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary, 219-221 Columbus St., Sun Prairie, 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 837-7381 for more info.
Mad City Chicken Coop Tour, a self-guided tour of several backyard chicken coops around the city organized by , followed by a screening of the documentary Mad City Chickens, along with a silent auction and prize drawing. Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Rd., tours from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and screening at 1:30 p.m. Call 695-7914 for more info about the tour and view a map detailing locations on it, and call 838-0413 for more info about the screening.
Launch party, for the inaugural edition of the Fromagination, 12 S. Carroll St., 10 a.m.-noon. Call 233-5488 for more info.
Exploring Food in the Troy Kids' Garden class, with instructors Megan Cain and Elizabeth Gering of Troy Kids' Garden, 502 Troy Dr., 10 a.m.-12 p.m., $10 owners at the Willy Street Co-op and $20 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Pie workshop, a class co-hosted by the Mount Horeb Senior Center, covering how to make different pie crusts and fillings. West Blue Mounds Lutheran Church, 2962 Church St., Blue Mounds, 1-4 p.m., $15. Call 561-1832 for more info.
Edible & Useful Plants of Autumn walk, a nature tour hosted by the Savory Sunday, with volunteers need to prepare and serve a fresh, hot meal for the hungry. Lutheran Campus Center, 325 N. Mills St., 11 a.m. Call 233-6967 for more info.
Put it Up! Small Batch Preservation 101 class, with instructor Heather Buechler demonstrating how to use water-bath canning to preserve small batches of high-acid foods. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 2-4 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Monday, September 12
Save the date
Wednesday, September 14
Thursday, September 15