Keremeos will be heating up Sept.17 for their 10th annual Similkameen Sizzle Pepper Festival.
The one-of-a-kind event — Canada’s only hot pepper festival — is taking place at Memorial Park with festivities running throughout the day from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event kicks off with the retired firemen’s pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
Other activities include Sear Factor a hot pepper eating contest at 5 p.m., the chili cook-off tasting and judging takes place from 11 a.m. to noon and a beverage garden that is open from noon to 6 p.m., as well as entertainment by Corner Turtles, Mat Duffus, Gary Comeau and the Voodoo Allstars.
There will also be family friendly activities such as face painting, a climbing wall, a bouncy castle and barrel painting.
“This is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful, sunny Saturday in the Similkameen Valley and check out the vendors selling hot peppers, salsas, fresh organic fruit and vegetables and lots of other merchandise,” said Carroll MacLean, event promoter.
The festival was started by locals mainly as a thank you to the people of the lower Similkameen Valley who supply the area with fruit, vegetables and local wines.
Similkameen Country is currently selling raffle tickets for prizes to be drawn at the festival; the first prize being $500 in cash and the second prize two tickets to see Keith Urban at the South Okanagan Events Centre scheduled to play a week after the festival.
Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre and at the Keremeos Review, Valley First Credit Union and Pharmasave.
The event is free to the public and has been able to be held each year because of the support of the people in the Similkameen Valley.
For more information, contact Similkameen Country at 250-499-5225 or visit www.gotpeppers.info.