People sometimes grumble that there is nothing to do in Augusta. That argument won't hold up this weekend.
Canoeing the Augusta Canal, touring artists' galleries while they work and scarfing down some chili or crawfish are among the options.
On Saturday, outdoor festivals include the Fat Tuesday Fat Jazz Festival on Washington Road, the Georgia Carolina Chili Challenge at Riverwalk Augusta and the inaugural Sports Jam 98 at Augusta State University's athletic complex off Wrightsboro Road.
More than 1,000 pounds of spicy crawfish will be flown in from New Orleans, boiled and sold by the pound at Fat Tuesday, 2820 Washington Road. The festival, featuring more than 50 musicians, starts at 11 a.m.
If you're hungry for something spicy but want more of a family atmosphere, head down to the Georgia-Carolina Chili Challenge from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Riverwalk Eighth Street Plaza.
Entertainment includes Tim Cadiere and the Creole Ride and Footloose and Fancy Free Cloggers. There will also be craft booths, children's amusements and teams competing to make the best chili.
"There will be something for the whole family to see and do," said organizer Kathi Dimmock.
Admission to the event, a fund-raiser for United Cerebral Palsy of the CSRA, is free. Tickets to sample the chef's secret recipes are five for $5.
Not the outdoor type? Don't worry, there are plenty of indoor activities as well.
See artists at work in their studios during the Greater Augusta Arts Council's Artists' Studios Tour from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Guide brochures for this free, self-guided tour can be picked up at any Artists' Row location or at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.
Meanwhile, the Augusta Symphony Guild's Designer Showcase '98 will be open Saturday and Sunday. The show house features 12 area interior designers' work in a new 3,500-square-foot home at 1117 Kirk Place, off Walton Way near Forest Hills Golf Course. The house will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8.
For theater buffs, local productions include the Augusta Players Youth Theatre adaptation of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables tonight, Saturday and Sunday at Tubman Middle School and the Aiken Community Playhouse's rendition of Our Town tonight, Saturday and Sunday at the Aiken Community Playhouse.