File photo Dance the night away Friday with the Similkameen Sizzle mascots at the free family dance. The Rob Robertson Band will be performing.

Similkameen Sizzle sure to bring the heat

Canada’s only hot pepper festival celebrates its 16th year in Keremeos this Saturday

It’s sure to be hot, hot, hot this weekend at the Similkameen Sizzle.

Canada’s only hot pepper festival celebrates its 16th year in Keremeos this Saturday.

“It’s going to be a great time and we want everyone come out and celebrate with us, enjoy our community and the harvest,” Joan Bauman, event organizer said.

There’s lots to do for those like the hot stuff and those that don’t.

Saturday starts to heat up around 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast cooked up by the Keremeos Elks – bring your own hot sauce if you want to eat your pancakes with a side of heat.

The annual chill cook-off will have everyone’s taste buds tingling as local restaurants, groups and individuals vie for fan favourite and judge’s choice.

“Everyone gets to vote for who they think the best chill is and then there’s a group of judge’s who do a blind taste test and choose a winner,” she said.

The judge’s also get a chance to feel the burn while they judge the pepper jelly, hot sauce, and salsa categories.

A variety of bouncy castles and jousting and football run inflatables are setup for the young and young at hear to enjoy.

Cool things down by browsing through vendor’s alley where there’s a little bit of everything from barbecue sauces to preservatives, blanket and souvenirs. Or take a break and enjoy a beverage or a glass of local wine in the beer gardens.

There will also be a variety of food vendors on site as well as the Elks cooking up smoke and hamburgers.

Festival favourite, the hot pepper eating contest will start around 4 p.m. with registration throughout the day.

“That always draws the crowds. It’s fun for the ones competing and it’s fun to watch,” she said.

Prior to the big day, a free family dance will be held at Memorial Park from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with local band The Rob Robertson Band.

The Similkameen Sizzle is organized by Similkameen Country, the Keremeos and area Chamber of Commerce.