Dining With Denise Neil

BBQ, pumpkin spice, chili and wine: Fall in Wichita full of food fests

ICT Burger Battle now in its 5th year will be Oct. 14 at the Wichita Waterwalk.
ICT Burger Battle now in its 5th year will be Oct. 14 at the Wichita Waterwalk. The Wichita Eagle

Fall in Wichita is full of food festivals celebrating the flavors of the season – pumpkin spice, chili, barbecue and lots and lots of wine.

The season gets started this weekend with the annual Old Cowtown Wine Mosey, and several new events are dotting the calendar, including the Blues, Brews & Barbecue festival in Newton and a pumpkin cook-off between local food trucks at Cox Farm.

Mark your September and October calendars for these tasty events:

Old Cowtown Wine Mosey, 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd.: An annual wine-tasting event, the Wine Mosey includes a barbecue dinner by the Wichita Wagonmasters, appetizers, stagecoach rides, gunfight re-enactments, saloon girls, antique bowling and a live auction. All proceeds will go to supporting and maintaining the museum collection and to educate elementary school children on Wichita in the 1870s. Tickets are $50 a person at www.WichitaTix.com or by calling 316-303-8100.

Wichita Wine Opener, 7 p.m. Sept. 28, Century II Exhibition Hall Balcony, 225 W. Douglas: This party, which raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is in its eighth year and will have food from several Wichita restaurants plus wine-tasting stations. It usually draws a crowd of around 500. Tickets are $75 or $100 for a VIP ticket and are available at https://wichita.finestcff.org.

Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff, noon, Sept. 30: This annual event fills several blocks of Douglas downtown with chili competitors distributing samples of their recipes, and the public can try them all for the cost of a $5 tasting kit. (Psst: Dining with Denise is competing for the first time this year.) The event also includes lots of contests, live music and activities. People start lining up for tasting kits about 11 a.m. For more information, visit wagonmasterschili.com

Blues, Brews & Barbecue, 3 p.m. Oct. 7, Athletic Park, Newton: This first-year event will include barbecue, craft beer and a night of blues music. Moreland & Arbuckle will perform at 7 p.m. in what they say will be their final concert, and Amanda Fish will open the show. Local craft beer from places like Three Rings Brewery, Aero Plains Brewing, Wichita Brewing Company and Walnut River Brewing will be available, and 13 food trucks will be serving food, including several barbecue trucks. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. To get them, visit www.harveycountynow.com/bbb.

ICT Bloktoberfest, 5-10 p.m. Oct. 13 and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 14: This event’s first year was last year, and it was so popular that it filled the plaza at Union Station with a huge and claustrophobic crowd. This year, organizers are making it a two-day event and changing locations. It’ll be set up at the Wichita WaterWalk, 515 S. Main, in the field just east of the dancing fountains. On Oct. 13, festivities will happen from 5 to 10 p.m. The lineup will include a beer tasting, which requires a $40 ticket, a full German dinner, which also will require a ticket, food trucks, a classic car show and local live music. Then on Oct. 14, the party will last from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will include a Oktoberfest flair costume contest, German polka bands, a sausage tasting event that requires a $25 ticket, yard games, food trucks, the hot dog eating contest, a stein hoist contest, carnival games and more. For a full schedule and to get tickets, visit www.ictbloktoberfest.com.

ICT Burger Battle, 5-8 p.m. Oct. 14, Wichita Waterwalk, 515 S. Main: This event, now in its fifth year, is moving again. Last year, it was in the Spaghetti Works parking lot on Douglas. This year, it’s partnering with the ICT Bloktoberfest and will become part of its lineup. Several local restaurants will be preparing burgers that attendees can sample. General admission tickets, which include burger samples, chips, soda and beer while it lasts, are $25, and kids 12 and under get in free. People will be permitted to come and go between the Burger Battle and Bloktoberfest activities. Tickets for the Burger Battle are on sale now at http://ictburgerbattle.com.

St. George 84th Annual Lebanese Dinner and Food Sale, 4-8 p.m. Oct. 14 and noon-7 p.m. Oct. 15, St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral, 7515 E. 13th St.: One of Wichita’s most popular church fundraisers, this dinner offers meals of cabbage rolls, kibba, a rice and green bean dish called ruz and yuknee, salad, pita bread and a serving of sweet, sticky baklava. It also includes country kitchen selling trays of Lebanese favorites and baked goods to go. Pre-set meals are $18, or $9 for ages 10 and under, and the food is available for dine-in or to-go. Tickets and information are available at www.stgeorgedinner.com.

Field of Brews, 1-4 p.m. Oct. 21, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore: This beer-sampling, which last year was called Amberfest, will feature more than 50 beers to sample on the field of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The event also will include food, music and games. Tickets are $50 or $75 for a VIP ticket that includes early entrance, shaded seating, free food and more. Proceeds will benefit Starkey, which serves people with developmental disabilities. Tickets are available at https://starkey.org/homepage/news-events/amber-waves/field-of-brews/.

ICT PumpkinFest Cook-Off, noon-3 p.m. Oct. 22., Cox Farm, 6059 S. Seneca: Local food trucks and vendors will have a cook-off at the pumpkin patch, and appropriately, they’ll be making dishes that utilize pumpkin. Admission is free, but you’ll need to bring money to buy food or go through the corn maze or pumpkin patch at the farm.

Wichita Asian Festival, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Century II, 225 W. Douglas: The 37th installment of this event by the Wichita Asian Association includes cultural presentations and the big draw: a room full of Asian food vendors selling everything from Vietnamese sandwiches to Chinese dumplings. Admission is free. The food is available for purchase. For more information, visit www.wichitaasianassociation.org.