The Orlando Chili Cook-Off gives the city a kick in February and you'd better bring your appetite.
There's probably no point wearing socks if you're heading to the Orlando Chilli Cook-off in February; some of the samples here might end up blowing them off anyway.
Arguably the biggest chilli festival in Florida, the Orlando Chilli Cook-off attracts thousands of people to Festival Park every year (it was held at Baldwin Park before 2013). Running from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., 2017's version will see it return for the eighth time, which will yet again benefit a range of deserving charities thanks to organisers' efforts and the money spent by visitors. In 2016, around 15,000 people turned out for the event and the next one should see similar numbers.
At the festival there will be an array of tents packed with vendors and local chefs who cook-up huge pots of the spicy stuff and come to showcase their different recipes (there's plenty of it too). Whether you're one who likes their food extra spicy or someone who can't handle the heat, you can be sure the food here will cater for all.
The event is very much a family-friendly affair and boasts a buzzing community atmosphere. Kids love their designated play area that features bouncy castles, face painters, balloon artists and more to keep them entertained. The adults on the other hand, can enjoy a few drinks after sampling some chilli and listen to the live bands that play on the stage throughout the afternoon. However, one of the most anticipated events at the festival will be the 5th annual world chilli eating challenge which is sure to draw a huge crowd, so look out for this.
Tickets to the festival are usually priced around $20 on the door for adults. Arrive hungry, there's plenty to go round. Just be aware if you're not used to spicy food; the chilli here might blow your socks off. You have been warned.
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