Jillian Rouse, Head of Visitor Services, comments “It’s been a wonderfully successful weekend, the weather was lovely on both days and there was a fantastic atmosphere. As we work to steadily grow the Chilli Fest, this year has seen a definite increase in families attending, plus lots and lots of dogs!”
The entertainment lined up for the two days proved a great hit. Visitors flocked to see the Belly Dancers performing and they danced and mingled in the avenues with visitors. Garry Gifford as Freda the Dinner Lady and character, Pete Moss was an absolute hit with crowds gathering round him.
Business from Cumbria and further afield lined the Courtyard with spicy treats and delicious produce, as visitors munched their way through spicy pizzas, sauces and even chilli chocolate!
The highlight of each day was of course the Chilli Eating Competition hosted by Darth Naga – on Saturday there were joint winners, Damien from Blackpool (a winner last year) and Jo from Hampshire. They worked their way through each round of chillies, each getting hotter and eventually reaching two million scovilles, neither gave up and started working their way back down the scale, but instead of one chilli per round they had two!
On Sunday the competition got to eight hundred thousand scovilles with Sharon from Southport crowned the winner. The winners won a hamper of chilli goodies and a trophy. With the Courtyard full of spectators, the crowd encouraged the participants every step of the way.
“We’ve had great feedback from our exhibitors and we’re already thinking about next year’s event and how we can develop it – we look forward to September 2017! - Jillian Rouse.
The Ilex Bar & Brasserie
Open for lunches - including a very special Sunday lunch -
and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Click for more information.
2017 Main Season Opening Dates
Hall & Gardens, Cafe, Food Hall and Gift Shop
Saturday 25th March to Sunday 29th October
Wednesday to Sunday (& Bank Holiday Mondays) 10.30am - 5pm (Hall 11am - 4pm)