The Pepper Festival is June 23 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn

The inaugural Pepper Festival will be held at the beautiful 32-acre Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn on June 23.

The family-friendly Pepper Festival features amazing food from local area food trucks and restaurants, live music performed by upbeat, seasoned local and national acts from many genres, all local breweries and wineries and an incredible variety of vendors providing great shopping. All of the above celebrates the mighty pepper – the most versatile vegetable (it’s really a fruit) on the planet.

The festival will raise much-needed funds for three local children’s charities: The Markie Foundation, which pays salaries for children’s hospice nurses; Children Advocates (CASA) of Placer County, which helps foster youth, at-risk youth and young adults build resiliency, self-confidence and self-sufficiency; and Sierra Promise (a Sierra College Foundation program) that mentors local high school students, giving them the opportunity to go to college. More about our partner charities is here.

Highlights of the Pepper Festival will include:

•Hot Pepper Eating Contest – Who can outlast all the rest by eating the world’s hottest peppers without crying “uncle”?

•Celebrity Chef Keith Breedlove – Owner of Sacramento’s popular “culinerdy” food truck, regular on Fox40 and Good Morning Sacramento morning shows and has been featured on many Food Network shows.

•Chef Throwdown Competitions – Fun and entertaining contests (a la Iron Chef from Food Network) featuring popular local chefs and festival food truck owners.

•Epic Condiment Bar – Hot sauces from around the world and sliced sweet, mild and super hot peppers.

•Master Gardener Workshops – Scheduled workshops teaching the planting, growing, cultivating and canning of all types of peppers.

•The Burn Unit – Sponsored by Cowtown Creamery, there will be at least one staff member dressed in white with an ice chest filled with milk, ice cream and cheese to assist those who partake in hot peppers and need a little relief.

•Local Beer & Wine – Only local area breweries and wineries.

•Salsa Dancing – Demonstrations from local dance studio Salsa Sierra with audience participation.

•Pepper Cookbook – Amazing variety of recipes featuring a Heat Scale to control the spiciness of each recipe. Profits shared with the featured charities.

Food offerings

What would a pepper festival be without the food? We have chosen food vendors who would take the idea of dishes with peppers of all heat and flavors and run with it.

Cousins Maine Lobster – They are working to develop a lobster dish featuring peppers. 

Tailgater 44 – Traditional tailgate fare with a Filipino twist.

Che Buono – Authentic Italian cuisine – pasta, pizza, spicy stuffed rice balls and more.

The Dive – Burgers and fries…with peppers!

Cowtown Creamery – Ice cream, freezes, sundaes, floats and more. Perfect for a June day.

An Honest Pie – Sweet dessert pies and savory ones…featuring peppers!

California Gold Kettle Corn – Sure, they’ll have kettle corn…and jalapeño popcorn.

The complete list of food vendors is here.

Upbeat music

Some featured artists:

Antsy McClain & The Trailer Park Troubadours – A world-renown Americana artist out of Nashville, TN, with a huge following.

Earles of Newtown – An incredibly unique and upbeat all-original Dixie Rag/Funk Jazz band.

The Bleeping Bleeps – An Auburn/Grass Valley cover band that runs the gamut of upbeat, danceable cover songs. From Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars to Van Halen and Green Day.

J Ross Parelli – An Auburn born and raised R&B/Funk artist. Her drummer is also in Stevie Wonder’s band and her horn section is also in Bootsie Collins’ band.

Frequency – An all-original hard/melodic rock band out of San Jose, CA. They will be debuting their new EP at the festival.

Whoville – A Sacramento based fun, rocking tribute to The Who.

Robby James & The Streets of Bakersfield – Keeping the traditional country sound originated out of Bakersfield, CA

The complete list of music acts is here.

Tickets & Merchandise

Special fundraising ticket/merchandise packages as well as limited pre-sale tickets are now available at a 40% discount as well as festival merchandise on the web site.

WHAT: The Pepper Festival (A Family-Friendly Food & Music Festival)

WHEN: Saturday, June 23, 2018 (12pm to 10pm)

WHERE: Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, CA

WHY: Raising funds for local children’s charities and family-friendly fun!

TICKETS: Adults $25 (children under 13 free) available here.


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