Keremeos ready to sizzle with Pepperfest

The 11th annual Valley First Similkameen Sizzle Pepperfest will be heating up Keremeos this weekend.

The 11th annual Valley First Similkameen Sizzle Pepperfest  will be heating up Keremeos this Saturday.

This event, held at Memorial Park, is free to the public so families can enjoy a day of fun, great music and lots of food. The Similkameen Sizzle Pepperfest is the only hot pepper festival in Canada.

The day will start with a pancake breakfast that begins at 7:30 a.m. with entertainment starting at 8:30 am with the Corner Turtles and then Robbie Robertson hitting the main stage at 10 a.m. Mat Duffus entertains the kids starting at 11 a.m.  The headliners, the Blackbirds, will take the stage starting at 2:15p.m. and keep your toes tapping until 4:45 p.m.

You won’t have to worry about being hungry as food vendors will be offering pulled pork, Jamaican patties, fish  and chips, burgers, donairs, enchiladas, tamales and other Mexican flavours. Got a sweet tooth? Take your pick of mini donuts, cotton candy, popcorn and the Elks’ famous ice cream.

The amateur chili cook-off starts serving at 11 a.m. and the public gets to taste and submit their favourites until 12:30 p.m. The winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

A feature this year is the best hot sauce contest with celebrity judges from the Okanagan and Vancouver tasting the contestants’ spicy entries. Judging will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The public will get to sample the sauces after the judging. Some of wine country’s top chefs as well as local sauciers are entering their sauce. Top prize will give the winner an opportunity to sell their sauce at Urban Fair in Kelowna for one year.

Immediately following the performance by the Blackbirds, the highly popular sear factor hot pepper eating contest will take place. This main feature is once again hosted by George Elliott, who has been a continuous participant and supporter of the Pepperfest for over 10 years. A celebrity judge will be overseeing the contestants.

Vendor’s Alley is filled with an array of merchandise and harvest specialties. And, the climbing wall, bouncy castle and face painting are back for the kids.

The beverage gardens open at noon and remain open until 6 p.m.

This year’s feature raffle has a prize valued at over $1,000 from the Similkameen Wineries Association. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and are available at the Info Centre and at various locations. They can also be purchased on the grounds throughout the day.

For more information contact Similkameen visit www.gotpeppers.info.