Is their a better way to start your winter off then to be warmed up with a hot & spicy festival? I think not! We have a long list of spicy events you can attend throughout this year, but let us highlight the ones that are taking place in the weeks ahead.
With the start of 2012 one of the big events in the chile community kicks off the year in grand style. If you do not know yet, then you are out of the loop. It is the one and only Zestfest, which is 1 of 3 huge spicy events that you will find in the great state of Texas throughout the year, the Austin and Houston Hot Sauce Shows are the other biggies. Zestfest is also home of the Golden Chile Awards, one of the premier awards in this industry. It is a 3-day event that every chilehead must attend at some point in their life just to say they experienced it.
Right after that during President’s Day Weekend, we have the North Market Fiery Food Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, home of CaJohn’s Fiery Food. This event includes the special Fiery Asian Dinner Saturday night after the show is done for the day. The hottest Asian food you will ever eat. The event also intermixes amateur chili, salsa, hot sauce, and guacamole contests along with some eating challenges as well.
Then the first weekend of March explodes with the biggest hot sauce & gourmet show in the world, the Fiery Food Show in AlBuddahquerque, New Mexico. I am not sure you will ever attend a spicy food show with this type of following. People flock from all over the world to attend. Many companies get their first taste of the market at this show.
There are so many more worthy shows throughout the year, and it would be hard to go to them all even if you wanted to. We have the “Spicy Events” link on the left side bar that you can refer back to anytime to see the latest updates on the biggest fiery events throughout the year. I have compiled them right here for this thread, and while some shows have not updated their exact dates yet, we give you the latest
from those that have. The NOLA Show is still in talks on the venue and date, but we believe their desire for the last weekend of October is their goal right now. No matter what the date is, I will do everything I can to attend that show again, it was awesome.
Tell us which events you plan on attending this year. My plan right now is to do Gunther’s Gourmet Gala and Peppers at the Beach both in May, Bowers and Houston Shows in September and NOLA in October. The rest will have to be a wait and see for me as the dates get closer.
Here is the latest spicy festivals calendar of events for 2012:
Friday, January 27, 2012 11:00-3:00 (TRADE ONLY)
Friday, January 27, 2012 3:00-7:00
Saturday, January 28, 2012 10:00-5:00
Sunday, January 29, 2012 10:00-4:00
Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.
Contact: Gregory Bagarozy 845-661-3616 or pd*****@ea*******.net
Annual spicy food show hosted by Chile Pepper Magazine featuring cooking demos, live music and more. For more information on booth reservations for Zestfest 2012 or entries into the Fiery Food Challenge, contact Judy Magouirk at 817-306-4386 or ju**********@at*.net.
www.zestfest2011.com If the website changes it should take you to the new one.
North Market Fiery Food Show
February 18-19, 2012 This little, but growing show is expanding to 2 days for 2011. There will also be an open house at CaJohn’s Fiery Foods on the Friday before the event.
59 Spruce St.
Columbus, OH 43215
phone: (614) 463-9664; email: in**@no*********.com
23rd Annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show
March 2, 2012 to March 4, 2012 hosted by Sandia Resort and Casino, I-25 and Tramway NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
For more information, call Emily DeWitt-Cisneros at 505-873-8680.
Website: CLICK HERE
Gunther’s Gourmet Gala
May 5, 2012 hosted by Michael Lampros of Gunther’s Gourmet in Richmond, VA. It is a small gathering by invite only with retail and wholesale buyers for East Coast vendors of various products. It is going on it’s 3rd year and has a nominal fee of $35 which includes food and drink as chicken wings and other simple finger foods will be sampled and reviewed on site by chile bloggers. Contact Mike @ M6****@ao*.com or 804-240-1796 for information on how to attend.
Company Website Only: http://gunthersgourmet.com/
Peppers at the Beach
May 18-20, 2012 hosted by Peppers, one of the largest hot sauce stores in the country.
Event is FREE, so all you have to do is show up and set up a strong tent and table to fight up the strong beach winds. The show is held at the Parking lot in front of Peppers, and word has it there will be a food show crew on hand this year. Interested vendors should contact Luther Hearn at 302-645-0812.
Location: 18701 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, DE, 19971
New Website: www.hotsauceatthebeach.com
Facebook Page: CLICK HERE
6th Annual Pinella’s Pepper Fest
June 2, 2012 10-4pm & June 3, 2012 11am-4pm
Held at the England Brothers Band Shell Park
5010 81st Avenue
Pinellas Park, FL 33780
Hosting an amateur salsa competition and Intensity Academy’s Lick-a-Thon Lollipop licking contest. Plus live music and other fun.
Oxnard Salsa Festival
July 28 & 29, 2012 (11am-7pm) – Plaza Park, Oxnard, CA
The 17th annual event of everything “salsa” – the food, the music and the dance. Spicy food, contests, and lots of entertainment.
Contact: Email ve********@ox*****************.com or leave a message at 805-247-0197.
22nd Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
Saturday Aug 26, 2012 – Waterloo Park, Austin, TX
Popular regional festival, featuring vendors, contests, music and more.
Website: CLICK HERE
Hatch Chile Festival
Sept 1, 2012 – Sept 2, 2012 – Hatch, NM
The large spicy foods festival which boasts over 30,000 annual visitors from all over the United States.
National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival
Sept. 1, 2012 (12pm-9pm) – Sept. 2, 2012(12pm-7pm)- Coca Cola Field, 275 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 14203.
This is the biggest wing event in the world, and filled with a lot of events throughout the weekend. www.buffalowing.com
18th Annual Chile Pepper Food Festival
Sept 7, 2012 – Sept 8, 2012 – William Delong Park, 233 Bowers Rd, Bowers PA
Large festival in eastern Pennsylvania featuring eating contests and more.
Website: www.pepperfestival.com for details.
North Carolina Hot Sauce Festival
Sept 8, 2012 – Main Street, College Street and Hillsboro Street in Oxford, NC.
Regional hot sauce festival occurring in downtown historic Oxford, NC, taking place on Main St., College St. and Hillsboro St.
2nd Annual I Like it Hot Festival & BBQ
September 8 & 9, 2012 – Minnreg Hall, Largo, FL
Regional event with hot sauces, chile peppers, contests and more.
12th Annual Houston Hot Sauce Festival
Saturday, September 15, 2012 to Sunday, September 16, 2012 at the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Rd, Stafford, TX. For Details contact Carol Bourge at (281) 558 – 3518 or ca***@ho*************.com
The popular hot sauce/spicy foods show for the Houston, TX area, and one of the biggest spicy events in the country.
22nd Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta
Sept 26, 2012 – Sept 30, 2012- 551 W. Cordova Road #723,
Santa Fe, NM 87505.
Phone: (505) 438-8060
Jungle Jim’s 6th Annual Weekend of Fire
October 6, 2012 – October 7, 2012 – Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, OH.
Website: CLICK ME
The popular hot sauce/spicy foods show for the Cincinnati, OH area. Also features Defcon’s Deathmatch National Hot Wing Eating Championship on Saturday night, Patter Fam’s Spicy PB & J Sammich Stackdown, and Heartbreaking Dawns’ Brownie Brawl Buster.
NOLA Hot Sauce and Gourmet Show
Future Date should be coming (best guess Oct 27-28, 2012) – New Orleans, LA
This is a new and growing fiery & gourmet food show going into it’s 3rd year for the New Orleans, LA area. Details are coming soon. www.nolahotsauce.com