The Great Dorset Chilli Festival is billed as 'the hottest day out in Dorset' and indeed, as you approach the site of the show at Wimborne St Giles, the road signs warn you, 'You're getting hot' and 'Even hotter!!'. Dorset is home to one of the world's hottest chillies - the Dorset Naga - so they really know their stuff here. This place is hot, hot, hot!!
The festival is two days of scorching hot chilli-related fun and frolics located in St Giles Park, owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury, together with the stunning house that sits within the very beautiful grounds. It's the perfect setting for this unique event.
For chilli enthusiasts and food lovers, your culinary senses will be tantalizingly aroused, delighted, tingled and eventually totally numbed by the vast array of tasters and samples ranging from hot to hotter and beyond fiery! Featuring in several magazines and newspapers as being one of the best food festivals in Britain to visit, its reputation for culinary delights ranging far beyond just the humble chilli, has grown from strength to strength (did you see what I did there?!).
There is no doubting that the chilli is the star of the show. The modest little capsicum is showcased by numerous traders selling chill flavoured edibles - chutney, jam, sauce, fudge, chocolate, oils, vinegar, pickles and even cider (that's a weird one! I tried it!!)
For foodies not so keen on feeling the chilli bottom burn the next morning, there's plenty of other scrumptious fare available as well as artisan craft, accessories, clothing, artwork, ironmongery, (chilli) plants and much, much, more.
Other than eating....and drinking, there's lots to keep you occupied and entertained. Live music, cookery demonstrations, chilli plant growing competition and chilli sauce competition (judged by visitors to the festival).
The highlight of the day (on both days) happens at 4pm with the infamous Chilli eating competition on the main stage. Such madness and total lunacy you will rarely see as 10 'willing' volunteers go up on the stage in front of a massive crowd and eat (or attempt to eat!) 10 rounds of increasingly hot chillies - starting with a mild 2,000 SHU and rising to a Moruga Scorpion at 1,400,000 SHU (hot enough to put a rocket in space!). Elimination occurs if someone takes even a tiny sip from the glass of ice cold milk in front of them, if they withdraw voluntarily or (involuntarily) expel everything previously consumed!
It sounds pretty gruesome, but actually it's hugely entertaining and I'm told that no one has suffered any long term harm from taking part, but there are paramedics on scene....just in case!
Yes you can certainly bring your dog along to the Great Dorset Chilli Festival if kept on a lead. It's a busy event but there's plenty of space, so no need to worry about smaller dogs or puppies being trodden on in a large crowd.
The entire event is held on grass so no hot tarmac to scorch those paws and there are shady areas to sit and picnic with your dog if it's hot and sunny.
We are there selling our lovely handmade dog biscuits and other treats and we always have a very large bowl of water available. So large in fact, it's often used as a paddling pool!!
In 2017 the festival will be held on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August.
All the information you need is on the festival's dedicated Great Dorset Chilli Festival website, including directions, ticket sales, timetable of activities and entertainment and nearby accommodation.
They also have a great Facebook page that you can follow, updating us on all the latest news with regular posts.
Hope to see you there!
If you can't come and visit us at The Great Dorset Chilli Fiesta but are interested in seeing what great goodies we have, then come on in and take a peek in The Little Pet Biscuit Company online store.
Comments will be approved before showing up.