Hottest festival in Canada

The 16th annual Similkameen Sizzle takes place Saturday, billed as the only hot pepper festival in Canada.

The festival will take place at Memorial Park in Keremeos on Sept. 17, opening with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and will feature a chili cook-off, salsa making competition and live music.

"The first big event is the chilli cook-off," organizer Colleen Christensen said. "Everyone in the park has an opportunity to vote on their favourite chilli."

The cook-off will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The free event brings in hundreds of people annually with about 300 expected for the pancake breakfast and over 500 people throughout the day.

"We grow over 250 different varieties of peppers in the lower Similkameen," she said. "We end the day with a hot pepper eating contest,” starting at 4 p.m.

The family friendly event will also include food trucks, vendors and a beverage garden, as well as a bouncy castle and much more for children.

"It's as much a community event as it is for the surrounding areas," Christensen said.

New this year, the festival will warm up with a family dance in the park on Friday, from 6 to 10 p.m., which will include live music, a beverage garden and food vendors.

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