The City of Palestine is hosting the Hot Pepper Festival on Saturday, October 27 from 10:00 am to 11:00 p.m. in the Historic Downtown District for the first time in over five years.
Admission to the festival is free and feature the Texas Country Music sensation, the Casey Donahew Band, and three stages of live music.
"It's all going to be free and fun. We're going to have the parade and Kid Zone. There will be tons of vendors, arts and crafts and yummy food," event organizer, Lysa Gonzalez, said.
Although the admission to the festival is free, it does cost to sample the Bar-B-Que and Chili cook off. Gonzalez says the proceeds all go back to the city.
"All of the proceeds from the event will go to downtown improvements. Our downtown is the gem of our city and we want to make sure our downtown stays just the way it is. We love the history down here and we really want to preserve what we've got," Gonzalez said.
Palestine has held a festival every fall for over twenty years, but it has had an identity crisis along the way. It has been the Bat Festival, a ghost festival, the Hot Pepper Festival, most recently WonderFall Oktoberfest and possibly a few others. The exact history of the festival is unclear and is slightly hazy among residents.
The festival was most popular during its days as the Hot Pepper Festival, which residents stilled called it even during its days as the WonderFall Oktoberfest.
The City of Palestine decided to take on the coordination and operations of the festival for 2012 and make it free to all those who wish to attend. This includes: the parade, three stages of music and live performances, the Macho Hot Pepper Eating Contest and a concert by the Casey Donahew Band and Jason Cassidy.
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