Oli Pena is the mascot for Palestine’s annual Hot Pepper Festival.

The coronavirus continues to steal community joy with the cancellation of Palestine’s annual Hot Pepper Festival.

“We want to protect the citizens of Palestine and all of the visitors who come to town, so we have decided to cancel the festivities this year.” said Mayor Steve Presley. “Our city staff, volunteers, performing artists and vendors will be disappointed we will not be hosting the festival this year, but with the current uncertainty due to the pandemic, we believe this is most responsible action to take to keep everyone safe.”

Presley sent out a heart-felt ‘thank-you’ to all of the city staff and numerous volunteers who have helped the city manage and make this event so successful over the years.

Know as the “Hottest Little Festival in Texas,” the Hot Pepper Festival has something for everyone throughout the streets of Historic Downtown Palestine. It annually encompasses hundreds of vendors, specialty food options, outdoor concerts, a parade and free kids activities.

This festival originated in the early 1980s. This is the first known time that it’s been cancelled.

“We appreciate the support that Palestine has received for the Hot Pepper Festival in the past, and we look forward to transitioning this festival to be hosted by the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce for the next festival to be held in October 2021.” said Leslie Cloer, City Manager.

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