El Dorado News-Times

Shamrockin’ on the Square slated for March 11

Chili cook-off, karaoke and more slated for event


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:


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,


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 870862-4747.


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.


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 assistant@mainstreet­eldorado.org or visit the MSE website at www.mainstreet­eldorado.org or Facebook page.

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