Hot Pepper Festival float

This Saturday Palestine will host the hottest lil’ pepper festival in East Texas.

Festivities will kick off Friday, Oct. 22 with the CASI and Community Chili Cook-off. Check in starts at 7 a.m. There will be a cooks meeting at 9 a.m. with turn in at 2 p.m. and judging at 3 p.m.

“For over 40 years Palestine has hosted the hottest lil pepper fest in East Texas and we hope to expand it this year,” said Heather Chancellor. “Of course we will have all the hometown traditions, including the Pepper Palooza Parade along with dancers, tumblers, cheerleaders and hot music with international artist Aaron Goodvin. We are looking forward to a warm sunny day and a hot, hot festival and a great time for our community.”

On Saturday, enjoy the Pepper Palooza Parade at 9 a.m. The procession begins at the courthouse, then winds down Avenue A to downtown.

The festival gates will open at 10 a.m. Admission is $1 per person. Enjoy shopping, arts and crafts and festival foods, live music and performances by local dancers and tumblers, a hot pepper eating contest and more.

Parade awards will be announced at the Historic Event Center, formerly known as the Denby, at 10:30 a.m. followed by the People’s Choice Awards from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a performance by Morgan Ashely at 1 p.m.

Local dance and tumbling performances will include New Creation Dance at 11 a.m., Academy of Dance at 1 p.m. and Steps of Faith at 3 p.m. on the Performance Stage at the corner of Magnolia St. and Crawford St.

Titanium Cheer and G4 will be performing at the Performance Stage for Tumblers at Magnolia St. and Main St. Titanium Cheer will take the stage at 10:30 a.m. and G-4 will follow at noon.

Live music on the main stage will include Aaron Goodvin at noon, Ransom Brothers Band at 2 p.m. and Morgan Ashley at 3 p.m.

According to Chancellor, the hottest contests can be found on the El Fuego Stage with the Lolly Lick-a-thon sponsored by Allen Family Dentistry and Saucy Queen.

The Lolly Lick-a-thon will begin at 11 a.m., in the Vera Bank Parking Lot at John St. and Main St., followed by the Pepper Eating Contest at 1 p.m. and the Atomic Wing Challenger at 3 p.m.

Brookshire’s HOT Pepper Eating Contest will start with a bell pepper and work up the Scoville scale with a variety of peppers. The Wings Stops Atomic Wing Eating contest will complete the day.

“There is still time to enter,” Chancellor said.

During the festival, streets from North Queen to North Sycamore, and from Crawford to Spring streets, will close.

Sponsors for the festival include the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, CASI, Go Texan, Elliott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat Kawasaki of Palestine, Allen Family Dentistry, Etex, Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative, Palestine Copy & Print, KYYK 98.3, Queen Street Grille, Ben E. Keith, ONCOR, All Star Autoplex, Dead Cat Ranch, Sauce Queen, WingStop, City of Palestine, Jakes J&K Electrical Services, Commercial Bank of Texas, Home Grill Steak House, Palestine Copy & Print, Palestine Herald-Press, Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy and Shelby Savings Bank.

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