The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce’s Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew Festival, now in its 19th year, is expected to once again fill Main Street with visitors Saturday for perhaps the most diverse and tasty event of the festival season.

The 2021 Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew, sponsored this year by Ivy Tech-Madison, runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday on Main Street from Jefferson Street to Broadway and on Mulberry Street between Main and Second streets.

“This is a community festival for all ages,” said Emilee Roberts, executive director of the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. “It encompasses so many pieces of Madison and the community. I’m real excited.”

Robert said the festival began as “a small food contest to bring people to the downtown historic district” but has become one of the city’s biggest one-day events. “It started from that, and it continues to grow.”

She said people love the food and music plus there are events for all ages.

“It has something for everybody and their family,” Roberts said. “And it’s fall weather, which is always beautiful and fun to be out in.”

New this year is the Adult Fun Zone, which will be located on Mulberry Street with a cornhole competition and Kan Jam, the flying disc game, plus a huge Jenga set.

The Kids Zone with bouncy houses is also back and will be located on the north side of Main Street from Poplar Street. Kids Zone wristbands will cost $10. “They can get on the inflatables as much as they want to, and there will also a coloring station there, too,” said Roberts.

Live music will be performed throughout the day on three different stages.

At Main and West streets in front of City Hall, Jimmy Davis and Bill Lancton perform from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Two Buck Chuck from 12:45 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Rusty Bladen from 2-3 p.m., and Lindsey Flannery from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Across from the Red Bicycle Hall at 125 East Main Street, Charlie Rohlfing will perform from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Kade Puckett from 1-2:15 p.m., and Aaron and Wesley Smith of Brother Smith from 2:45-4 p.m.

In front of the Comfort Station at 221 West Main Street, Robby Cox will perform from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Joe Perkinson and Dean Crafton from 1:15-2:30 p.m., and Logan Rush from 3-4 p.m.

But the real draw for the festival is the food and drink as local and regional chefs serve up their best recipes of soups, stews, chili and drinks in sample sizes that allow visitors to taste sweet, savory and spicy delights up and down Main Street.

Food tickets cost $1 for soups, stews and chilies sold at each booth at 2 tickets for 4 ounces, 3 tickets for 6 ounces and 4 tickets for 8 ounces. Brews can include any type of drink — from lemonade, to milk shake, beer or anything else — with the number of tickets depending on the price vendors charge.

Judges will present awards for the best of festival in four categories: Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the Chamber along with the food vendors — many of whom are local charities or represent charities — who receive a percentage of the ticket sales.

“It’s a community fundraiser,” said Roberts.

In addition to the event, the Chamber is also selling Soup, Stew, Chili and Brew cookbooks with recipes from past participants of the event. Roberts said the cookbooks, available for $15, were created last year when the Chamber ended up holding a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberts said the Chamber is thrilled to once again host the event live. “We’re really excited and hoping people come out, and have fun, listen to good music, and have good food.”

She noted the event is also an opportunity to support local and businesses that are participating by taking the opportunity to shop downtown while attending the festival.