The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

October 20, 2012

Hot Pepper Festival making big return to Palestine

PALESTINE — Things are heating up for the Hot Pepper Festival slated for Oct. 27 in Palestine.

“We have lots of vendors, lots of food, and lots of entertainment so come on out and bring back the ‘Pepper,’” City of Palestine Event Coordinator Heather Hrebec said.

During the Hot Pepper Festival, attendees can expect to see a parade themed “Back to the Pepper,” pepper eating contest, kids’ zone, arts and crafts, county project show and more.

More than 10 bands of various genres — including the up-and-coming Texas country group, the Casey Donahew Band — are scheduled to perform. All concerts are free, but those who would like to be up close can purchase VIP tickets for $25 each.

To purchase VIP tickets, call the Palestine Civic Center at 903-723-2026 or stop by between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The Hot Pepper Festival Parade — generally the kick off for the festival — will start at 10 a.m. from the Anderson County Courthouse square, travel down Avenue A to Main Street, then Queen Street to Lacy Street and back to the courthouse square.

“This will be the biggest parade we have had in quite a while. We currently have six bands participating and some of the Shriner Groups as well,” Hrebec said. “Get those parade entries turned in and don’t forget there is a $300 cash prize for the best float and a $300 cash prize for the best band.”

Parade applications will be accepted until Thursday and can be picked up and returned to one of these locations: City Hall, Palestine Visitor Information Center or the Palestine Civic Center. Applications can be downloaded from the City of Palestine’s Hot Pepper Festival page at

Live music performances are scheduled from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in The Hollow in Old Town on the Habenero Stage to accompany the Hot Pepper Festival Chili & BBQ Cook-off kick-off and on multiple stages throughout the downtown area from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the day of the festival.

In fact, Hot Pepper Festival organizers have worked with the Texas Department of Public Transportation and the Palestine City Council to approve the closure of Spring Street from Queen to Sycamore Street on Oct. 27 to have the Chili Pepper Stage built.

“The Chili Pepper Stage will be on Spring Street due to the size of the stage,” Hrebec said. “TxDOT is going to assist us with getting the information out by putting up signage the week of the event and the city will set up detours.”

The Habanero stage will be set up in Old Town and the Jalapeno Stage (family stage) will be at Magnolia and Main streets. The main Chili Pepper Stage will be at the corner of Spring and John streets.

Queen Street will be open the day of the event, excluding the parade, but Sycamore Street will be closed for the festival.

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