Clarendon will shine on Saturday.
"It's shaping up … to be a really good day," said Matt Hussmann, the executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the festival.
Clarendon Day runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, plus the annual Pacer's 10K, 5K and Kids' Dash will be held in the morning. Hussmann expects attendance to be well above last year's estimated crowd of about 8,000.
The DC Chili Cookoff is sanctioned by the International Chili Society, and the winners on Saturday will advance to the world championship in October in Palm Springs, Calif. Tasting tokens will be 50 cents each, and proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
The DC Chili Cookoff landed at Clarendon Day thanks to Hard Times Cafe after organizers decided to switch from the previous venue, RFK Stadium.
Come hungry: Expect a variety of Arlington and Northern Virginia restaurants to be represented. Among those that are new this year are Fat Shorty's (sausages), Bon Chon (Korean fried chicken) and Baked by Yael (cake pops).
The festival will feature three stages, including one in Clarendon Central Park, where construction has finished. Most, if not all bands, have a Northern Virginia connection, and some young up-and-comers will be among the earliest performances.
The event footprint will be the same as last year: Vendors will line Wilson and Clarendon boulevards from Garfield to Washington, plus North Highland Street from 11th Street to the Church at Clarendon.
Hussmann expects the event to draw people from around the greater Washington region. Metro is strongly encouraged. And if you're at the Clarendon Metro around noon and 3 p.m., you might be in for a surprise. Hussmann said he was sworn to secrecy about what that might be.
"We're just looking to have a nice atmosphere," he told Patch. "People can listen to free music. We've got the kids rides, the bouncy stuff. We've just got a broad range of things for people to do. And if people walk through the site and find things to see or do along the way, we think it's a successful event."