Sizzlefest time again

It’s the tenth year for Similkameen’s popular end of summer festival

Sam Hudson of Harker’s Organics picks peppers in preparation for Sizzlefest this weekend. Harkers is famous for their annual crop of dozens of different varieties of locally grown peppers.

Keremeos’ popular end of summer celebration know as “Sizzlefest” began with a casual after dinner conversation ten years ago between Bruce and Kathy Harker, Karl Schorb and Suzanne Wood.

“We were sitting around, and got talking about sizzlefest type pepper celebrations down in the U.S. and Mexico,” Kathy related recently.

“We began to discuss the idea of doing our own. At the time we were growing 84 varieties of peppers on our farm.”

The four began collecting information about the southern pepper festivals through the internet, eventually coming up with a plan to host a festival that would include a pepper eating contest, dance, and for the first year, a dinner which included a pig roast put together by the Keremeos fire department.

The first year’s festival was put together by the Harkers, Karl and Suzanne, and many friends. Volunteers came from the Harker’s employees who offered to help out. They hired a band, brought in vendors, and conscripted the Legion to host the beer garden. Gehringer Brothers Vineyards out of Oliver provided wine.

“People came from all over,” Kathy said of the dance that year, which featured a Mariachi  band. A kid’s fair, hosted by Virginia Webber, provided some youth entertainment.

The following year saw attempts to privately continue the festival stymied over license and permitting issues. Sizzlefest was organized under the umbrella of Similkameen Country, who have been undertaking the event ever since.

This year’s festival features music in Memorial Park provided by the Corner Turtles during the Fireman’s famous pancake breakfast, Mat Duffus through lunch, and Gary Comeau and the Voodoo Allstars providing afternoon entertainment. The pepper eating contest begins at 5 p.m. There will be something to do for everyone.

The day gets underway Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 a.m.

 

Just Posted

Keremeos man says stem cell therapy changed his life

Darryl Brewer says he went from being immobile with chronic pain to leading an active lifestyle

Penticton resident’s dog allegedly stolen from construction site

Nicholas Bozak is seeking the public’s assistance in locating Askem, his 17 month old mastiff chow

Experience the music at the 97 South Song Sessions in Penticton

Songwriters Tim Nichols, Jimmy Yeary, Jessica Mitchell and Bob DiPiero to perform intimate concert

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, showers expected

Environment Canada is predicting a mix of sun and clouds tomorrow and a sunny weekend across the Okanagan

Okanagan society sends seniors, shut-ins on boat excursions

Okanagan Quality Life Society has been providing Okanagan Lake boat rides for nearly 30 years

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

Arrest made in vandalism of the former home of man charged with South Okanagan murders

RCMP confirmed one person has been arrested in relation to the alleged vandalism

Respected wildlife artist in the Okanagan dies

According to a post by his family, Terry Isaac died on July 16

Two Okanagan robbers have been court charged

Paul Davis Houle and Tyler Brice Rathbone face break and enter charges

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Most Read