decorating help for chili & bbq cookoffs?!

Question: Decorating help for chili & bbq cookoffs?
I am planning a chili cook off and a bbq cook off for the fire house I am a member of.

I need help with decorating ideas. The entrants will be responsible for decorating their own areas.

I would need to decorate the bar area of the banquet hall, entry way, judging area and foyer.

Looking for easy, inexpensive ways to decorate with out looking childish.



Red, white and blue banners and bunting; American flag; red, white and blue balloons

I have seen chili pepper string lights that are really cute.…

Those may be to expensive though. You may just want to go with an "All American" theme. Go with red, white and blue banners, flags, etc. I'm sure you could find LOTS of things that would not expensive with this theme.

Western theme - cowboy gear,hay, saddle, cow, horses, etc...

Mexican theme - sombrero, colorful blankets/serape, donkeys,pinatas, illegal immigrants, etc...

Use balloons, ribbons, banners, lighting and maybe some art and craft stuff, big drawings of barbecued marshmallows cut out from big piece of cardboard.

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