The Pawhuska Merchants Association is planning a block party and chili cook-off for Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Osage County Fairgrounds to support Pawhuska Public Schools.


This is the second time the Merchants Association has held the event. The initial event was in September 2018, just a few weeks into the 2018-19 school year. This school year, the association moved its event from September to February, but the intent is the same — to provide teachers with gift cards to buy classroom supplies for instructional purposes.


A new feature of the block party, as it is being planned for Feb. 8, will be a chili cook-off, Cheryl Potts said.


“It will be a fun day for children and families, and we hope to add the element of competition this year with the chili cookoff,” she said. “We hope to have a lot of competition.”


The block party is to be held from 3-6 p.m. in the Ag Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds. There will be two categories of chili competition, Potts said. One category will be a CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) sanctioned competition that will involve following a strict set of rules, Potts said. She explained the Merchants Association has already contacted CASI and signed up, and has arranged for Randy Haddon to be in charge of the CASI competition at the block party.


The second category of chili competition will be a less-strict community category, Potts said. This category will offer modest cash prizes to winners, she said.


Potts said that tickets will be sold to block party attendees who want to eat chili, and those ticket sales will generate revenue for the purpose of the benefit — to support teachers and education. Following the September 2018 block party, Staples gift cards were given to teachers, she said. Potts said the Merchants Association hopes businesses and community groups will be interested in forming chili cooking teams to compete at the block party.


The Merchants Association will need volunteers to help with booths, and will also be seeking donations of gifts to be raffled, Potts said. Anyone interested in helping should call Potts, who is with the Million Dollar Inn, at 918-850-1006, call Lyndell Malone at the Osage Laundry at 909-228-5298, or call Mary Kay Warren at 918-331-6626.