Ready to get planting? How about chill with some chili? Or maybe you want to check out some pretty sweet rides.

On March 10-11, head over to LSU's Parker Coliseum for the 16th annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show and Arts and Crafts Fair, the annual Louisiana State and Regional Chili Cook-Off called Chili for Children and the Baton Rouge Spring Car Show.

The Garden Show is the centerpiece of the weekend, with many rare and usual plants for sale, along with yard, garden and patio merchandise. A number of arts and crafts vendors will also have products for sale. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Shopping and buying plants can certainly work up an appetite, so pop outside where 85 contestants from the local region as well as 16 states and three countries will be cooking up big pots of chili from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days.

The competitions include red chili, chili verde and salsa, with celebrity judges picking the winners. You can taste the contestants' chili and vote on the best for the People’s Choice Chili Award. Booths will be selling a variety of food and drinks. Find out more at

Proceeds from the cook-off benefit Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, which is building an additional free-standing Regional Children’s Hospital. For more information about the hospital, visit

For the ninth year, enthusiasts will be lifting the hoods on their cars for the spring show on Sunday, March 11, with registration from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost is $25 to be in the show. All models and years welcome. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local charity.

More than 5,000 people visit the event each year, organizers say, drawing chili lovers, green thumbs and car enthusiasts from throughout the area.