I have told fiery product makers over the years that this is the event to attend. It is low cost, brings in huge crowds and most important people come to buy. Not every show, festival or event can claim to be a money maker, but the Chile Festival at Bowers can. Is it that the people behind the event know how to market it? Perhaps. I think it is a word of mouth show that has grown way past expectation for a small town venue. This town is in the middle of no where, yet try finding a parking spot once the show has reached its midway point for either Friday or Saturday. On a Vendor’s first experience at Bowers they are shocked that their stock is almost depleted on the close of Friday’s show.
So what sets this show apart from the others for those who wish to attend. Well it is a cross between what you would expert at a town’s fair minus the amusement park rides and a hot sauce event. Hungry? There are fried food of the weirdest nature. I split a fried PB & J sammich with my buddy last year. There are these yummy soft pretzels with Buffalo spread atop, fresh squeezed lemonade, soda pop from a local company, and the other type of food you might find at your local carnival including the ultra spicy Karl’s Kickin’ Chili which is a must have. Then there is the swag tent with various festival merch to purchase. A local beekeeper selling honey along side his buzzing friends on display for all to see. The horse and buggy ride that takes you on a 3/4 mile trek down the road to the Mennonite’s Pepper Field and Barn where you can pick your own peppers and enjoy some of their local homemade treats including spicy ice cream and spicy rice krispy treats just to name two. They have hot sauces, BBQ sauces, jellies, jams, pickles, pies, cookies, and some hot food cooking on the grill. Instead of picking your own peppers which you are free to do at around $2.50/pound, you can also purchase pre-picked assortments of some of the hottest chiles known to man. They were all ready showing off some exotic ghost scorpion breed of pepper that looked more like it was from John Carpenter’s movie The Thing.
Entertainment for the masses is also something the show prides itself on, gathering some local talent both young and experienced to take the stage to perform various musical numbers all through the 2 days of the show. The only interruption is Friday’s Salsa contest which yours truly was in last year, and will once again return this year. On Saturday they have their annual jalapeno eating contest. It is a very fast contest too, and is over so fast you can’t believe they had time to even eat 1 pepper. Besides all the food, the music, the contests, the swag merch to buy, there is 85 vendors at the show. Some you might or might not know. I do not have the vendors list and in order to not leave anyone out I won’t name anyone. Lets just say they are some of the best that this industry has to offer, and if you make the trek to Bowers, PA for this annual Chile Festival, I know you will leave a happy camper.
For those that are going to show, on Friday night we will be gathering for an after the show dinner at Florence Italian Grille with reservations set for 7:30pm. You can find them at 238 Sycamore Dr, Breinigsville, PA 18031 Phone: (610) 841-4000. Many of our staying at the Hilton which is next door to the restaurant. A nice convenient spot, and the restaurant pledged to give us a break on the bill with a 10% discount which might border on 20% if the crowd goes over 30 people. If you want in, then please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just add your name in our Facebook Chileheads group post that I made for the dinner or post here and I will get the email. If you are at the event just look at the handsome guy with a sweaty back, that can’t stop talking. That would be me. We are a friendly group and if you want to mingle with some of these fiery food mavens this is your shot.
Check out the video I made 2 years ago to give you an idea of what you are missing…