GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County eighth annual Datil Pepper Festival and Home and Garden Show will be held on Oct. 3 and 4.
The weekend of events will kick off with the Datil Pepper Festival at 10 a.m., Saturday Oct. 3 with a presentation from Bonnie Wells, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County agriculture agent, “450 Years of Agriculture in St. Johns County.”
The highlight of the weekend is Saturday’s Datil Pepper Festival Restaurant Cook-Off, featuring datil inspired cuisine prepared by participating local restaurants. Participating restaurants will create an appetizer and entrée, using the datil pepper.
There are two divisions in the competition: Professional and People’s Choice. The professional division will be privately judged by a panel of local celebrity chefs, food enthusiasts and county officials. The people’s choice division is judged by the participating public (festival attendees who buy taste tickets). Taste tickets are $1 and go on sale 30 minutes before the cook-off. Awards will include cash and trophies.
Also on Saturday, there will be an Amateur Datil Pepper Hot Sauce Contest. Hot sauce entries should be submitted to the UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County Agricultural Center by 4 pm Friday October 2. Multiple entries are accepted per individual.
A private panel of judges will decide the winning hot sauce and a cash prize will be awarded. Submission forms for the hot sauce contest can be found at http://stjohns.ifas.ufl.edu
The Home and Garden Show, which will be held on both days, will feature vendors with plant sales, gifts, crafts, datil pepper products, and will include educational events such as garden talks, rain barrel and composter workshops, a Master Gardener Plant Clinic and an Open Horticulture Show featuring unique container plants created by residents of St. Johns County. Wendy Wilber, UF/IFAS Extension Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator will be the featured speaker at 10 a.m., Sunday Oct. 4.
Saturday- Datil Pepper Festival and Home and Garden Show (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
9:00 a.m.- Grounds open for Home and Garden Show
10:00 a.m.- Datil Pepper Festival Begins
Kick-Off Presentation: UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County Agricultural Center Wind Mitigation Building, 3111 Agriculture
“450 Years of Agriculture in St. Johns County,” Bonnie C. Wells, DPM, Commercial Agriculture Agent, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County
11:00 a.m.- Taste tickets for People’s Choice Division in Restaurant Datil Cook-Off sales begin
11:30 a.m -1:00 p.m. – Restaurant Datil Cook-Off
2:00 p.m. – Winners Announced for Datil Cook-Off and Amateur Hot Sauce Contest
Sunday- Home and Garden Show (10 a.m. -3 p.m.)
10 a.m.- “Tomatoes and Other Awesome Veggies,” Wendy Wilber, UF/IFAS Extension Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator
Social Media: Facebook page: www.facebook.com/event/938389686234117/
Official Hashtag: #DatFest15
By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Bonnie Wells, 904-209-0430, email@example.com